Following Recent Gun Violence in Newburgh, Maloney Calls on DOJ to Immediately Approve “Shot Spotter” Technology for Newburgh PD

Jun 1, 2016
Press Release

Washington – Following months of intensifying gun violence in Newburgh, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) called on the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), to make an immediate strategic investment in Shot Spotter Technology (SST) to help the city fight gun violence. The city applied for the technology as part of the BJA’s Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) program.  On May 16th, Rep. Maloney wrote a letter of support of the application to BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell, citing that “firearm assaults and shootings continue to be alarmingly high and your assistance is critical for reducing its severity.”

“Gunfire is an all too common occurrence in our city and its tearing our community and families apart – enough is enough,” said Maloney. “Our headquarters are in Newburgh for a reason – it’s a great place to work, live and raise a family – and working together with the City of Newburgh I’ve fought for additional police officers on the beat, but we must make sure that they have every available resource to stop this tide of violence and ensure our families and communities are safe.”

Newburgh police often rely solely on community reporting to locate perpetrators of gun violence. These reports can be inconsistent or inaccurate. SST would empower police by providing the technology necessary to gather critical information to solve gun crimes, and to ensure those responsible are apprehended and successfully prosecuted. The investment would provide four square miles of the City of Newburgh with audio sensors, which can pinpoint the location of the gunfire, detect the frequency of gunfire, and identify the type of firearm used. Each type of bullet carries a specific audio signature. Although these signatures are undetectable to the human ear, SST can discern the type of ammunition being fired.

The full text of Rep. Maloney’s letter to BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell appears below:

 

Dear Director O’Donnell:

I write in support of the application submitted by the City of Newburgh Police Department (CNPD) to the Technology Innovation for Public Safety program of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

As you may be aware, the most recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation illustrates a significant rise in firearm assaults and shootings throughout the City of Newburgh.  More specifically, these statistics continue to grow with 182 gun related calls-for-service in 2016.  In response to the rise of shootings, the CNPD has gone to great lengths to employ evidence-based programs geared towards reducing gun violence.  While these efforts have had a positive impact on the community, firearm assaults and shootings continue to be alarmingly high and your assistance is critical for reducing its severity.

Award of this application will allow the CNPD to acquire ShotSpotter Technology (SST) analytical services to fortify its efforts to further combat gun violence.  The SST uses strategically placed audio surveillance to provide constant acoustic monitoring throughout the City, which in turn instantly records and analyzes cases of possible gunfire.  Currently, the Department is challenged by its reliance on the community to report instances of shots fired, which can be inconsistent and unfounded.  Conversely, the deployment of nearly a hundred SST sensors will create a network that would instantly alert the CNPD and allow for immediate and appropriate action.  The instantaneous alert to the Department will facilitate a quicker response to better aid victims, assess evidence and ultimately apprehend armed and dangerous criminals.  As you can see, your assistance is overly critical both for the Police Department and residents of the City as a whole.  For these reasons, I ask that you review this application at your earliest convenience.

Therefore, I fully support this request and applaud its approach to policing in the 21st Century.  In order to keep my office informed about this opportunity during the allocation process, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Deputy District Director, Joseph Donat by phone at (845) 561-1295 or via e-mail at Joseph.Donat@mail.house.gov.  Thank you in advance for your time and careful consideration of this request as both are greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, 

Sean Patrick Maloney                                                                         

Member of Congress