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Sacramento Testing ShotSpotter Program In Del Paso Heights

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Pat Rivers has worked for years in the Ceasefire program trying to stop violence in her Del Paso Heights neighborhood.

"It's heartwrenching to hear guns fired, to hear police—Am I safe? Can I go outside," she said. "To live like that, we're hostages in our own homes."

Now she's hopeful a new ShotSpotter system brought in by Sacramento Police will help them track down where the shots are being fired.

Police want to use the technology, which uses a network of sensors to instantly detect the sound and location of gunshots. The system then immediately notifies police dispatchers who can send officers to within 25 feet of where the crime occurred.

"This is something that we believe helps make our community safer," said Sacramento City Councilman and Vice Mayor Allen Warren.

He represents the area with the highest number of shootings in Sacramento, and he supports trying new crime-fighting technologies.

"Between the body cameras, the cameras in the cars, and the ShotSpotter,  we're going to see some change in behavior in our communities and ultimately make our community safer," he said.

Police will pay $150,000 to demo the system over a three-square-mile area for one year. At that rate, it would cost $5 million to cover the whole city—money that critics argue could be used to hire more officers.

"This is not going to deter us from hiring more police officers, so we're going to hire police officers as well as utilize the most latest and modern technology," Warren said.

The city of Stockton started using the program in 2013 and noticed a 50 percent drop in shootings in the first four months.

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