Updated 10/31/2012 06:51 PM
Troy cuts "Shot Stopper" program
After three years on the Troy police force, the city's so-called "Shot Spotter" program will be taken off-duty. Our Solomon Syed has more on the high-tech system that missed its mark.
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TROY, N.Y. -- This is how Shot Spotter was supposed to work: A system of sensors would pickup gunfire, filter it from other sounds like firecrackers, cars and other loud noises, then feed it back to police dispatch.
"But the officers don't have confidence in this system," said Troy Police Chief John Tedesco.
Because they say it shoots blanks. Sometimes it relays bad locations, other times it won't go off at all, like in the case of Tuesday night's shooting on 4th Street. Hard then to justify its nearly $40,000 a year price tag.
"When you get a report to a certain location and it's the wrong place, ok there's the danger getting there, there's the danger of the shooter having a tactical advantage over the officers and that's my main concern," said Tedesco.
However, some residents remain concerned the program fired off mixed signals to the community. All 24 sensors were placed squarely within the north central neighborhood, where most gun crime takes place, in effect, labeling it "dangerous."
"Stop looking at us as statistics and numbers and start looking at us as people," said Rev. Willie Bacote, a city pastor and community advocate.
Funds saved from cutting the program may go towards a new police van and future patrol improvements.
Rev. Bacote say that money should go back to the north central neighborhood, perhaps even to help pay for a new community center.
"Take the money and put it in the community where the people can benefit, not some machines," said Bacote.
The machines remain the permanent property of the Troy Police Department, only they'll go out of commission in 2013.