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New Tool To Combat Gun Violence In Fort Lauderdale

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With a goal to decrease surging gun violence, Fort Lauderdale created the local "Law Enforcement Crime Gun Intelligence Center."

They got a grant of nearly half a million dollars.

"The center will be home to a strategic law enforcement team, whose sole focus is on armed violence in the target area surrounding the downtown," said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis.

The plan is for a team of 40 people, including 23 detectives that will focus solely on gun violence and six detectives that will hone in on narcotics and gun violence.

It will also expand the "ShotSpotter" program which deploys sensors that detect gunfire and immediately notifies police.

ShotSpotter is credited for getting police to the scene quickly on this Easter Sunday shooting that left two children injured. The shell casings were entered into the "National Integrated Ballistic Information Network," or NIBIN as it's known.

"In that shooting it analyzed 148 shell casings," said Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Larry Scirotto.

After analyzing those 148 casings, the system found 14 different guns were used according to the ATF.

The technology is known as "bullet fingerprinting."

"It's going to try to connect that casing and that gun to other shootings, nationally and where it is connected, it gives our investigators direction," Chief Scirotto said.

He says crime this year is trending down and that bullet fingerprinting and ShotSpotter are critical tools, adding that more than 90% of their gun calls come from ShotSpotter notifications.

"We are detecting three shots per day, three gun incidents per day and from that from October of last year to October of this year we've made 32 arrest, recovered 39 fire arms," Chief Scirotto said.

Grant money will also go to the Broward State Attorney's office to help with prosecution.

Funds will also be used on a public awareness campaign to decrease gun violence.  Fort Lauderdale will work with other local, state and federal agencies.


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