Washington D.C. – November 19, 2019, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Gunfire Detection and Location Technology Act.
The legislation would direct the U.S. Attorney General to provide grants to states and localities for gunfire detection and location technology. Specifically, it would authorize $40 million in grants to be distributed in equal parts over the coming four fiscal years.
“As we work to prevent gun violence, we can and must use technology to equip first responders with the resources to respond more quickly in service of victims and investigations. This bipartisan measure will help cities and states adopt this powerful technology that is yielding positive results in our efforts to reduce gun violence and violent crime,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “I thank Congressman Sensenbrenner for his support of this measure and his long history of working across the aisle to advance the best policies and innovations in serve to our communities.”
“Gunfire detection technology has proven to be successful in many cities across the U.S., including in my home state of Wisconsin. It’s time we empower law enforcement officers in other locations to implement this technology so they may better protect their communities,” said Congressman Sensenbrenner. “This bipartisan bill will help bring modern solutions to some of the longstanding challenges facing violence-plagued areas, and I’m grateful to Congresswoman Kelly for her leadership and cooperation on this effort.”
A network of sensors is used to detect gunshots, many of which are unreported to 911 dispatchers. Once a gunshot is detected, the technology triangulates the origin and notifies law enforcement with real-time data. This increase response time allowing for speedier access to victims and rapid securing of the crime scene. Additionally, the data can be used, via a secure database, for predictive intelligence, which further improves response times and resource allocation.
This technology is already used by more than 100 cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee and New York City. According to a report, the city of Milwaukee has seen a 38 percent decrease in the amount of gunshots fired in areas where this technology was used from 2017 to 2018 showing that its use can act as a deterrent.