Montgomery gets Shot Spotter

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A new, cutting-edge crime-fighting tool is coming to the capital city and it's called Shot Spotter, a high tech piece of equipment that can track where guns are fired down to an exact location.

When gunfire splits the quiet air of neighborhoods across the capital city police will be the first to know. "That intelligence, that information can be used by police to respond rapidly to the scene of a crime to apprehend any violator," explained Mayoral Executive Assistant Jeff Downes.

"...Basically will give us the ability to respond to situations where maybe someone has been shot and there is no one there to call the police," said Major Huey Thornton of the Montgomery Police Department.

Not only will police know exactly where the shot was fired, but what kind of weapon fired it. "How many rounds were fired, the latitude and longitude...the technology is there to ultimately determine the type of round...," said Downes.

The city is proud to announce the presence of its latest crime-fighting tool, but they're keeping some aspects under wraps. The pilot program's sensors will cover a square mile of Montgomery, but police aren't saying which square mile is currently under the machine's ears.

"When you put out these expensive pieces of technology, you really want people to be really be second guessing exactly where they are," Downes said, adding that the equipment will be disguised. Officials hope the results won't be, though. In fact, they're banking on Shot Spotter to prove its value immediately.

"...It's going to pay for its self in dividends on the first call that we receive, and maybe even save a life," Thornton said.

Montgomery is the third city in the southeast to adopt the program. The Birmingham Police Department recently implemented the technology across 6 city miles and the program has led to several arrests.

The Shot Spotter program, which costs about $200,000, will kick off in May. The city is currently under contract and waiting on installation of the equipment.