PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The city of Peoria will continue with the ShotSpotter for another three years after the City Council approved spending $900,000 on the gunfire detection system.
Council members approved the measure at their meeting on Tuesday. The contract is for $300,000 a year for three years and will also include a one-square-mile extension of the system. That additional square mile is free for the first year, as the city will evaluate whether it is needed or not.
The expansion is north of the current areas that are covered and will use Knoxville Avenue as a center line, going both east and west up the street through McClure Avenue said Zachary Oyler and Chuck Grayeb on Wednesday.
The two council members said they believed the system was a benefit to both the police department and to city residents.
“It does help us connect crimes together and it gives some direction of where to respond. especially when we are down officers or they are tied up on other issues,” Oyler said.
The system uses audio triangulation to detect gunfire. There are an undisclosed number of microphones in the six square-mile area already covered, said Jacob Moushon, a management and crime analyst with the police department.
“We received a one-year, 1-square-mile addition for free. Once the expansion is operational, we will evaluate the additional coverage area for the year to determine if the addition is needed,” Moushon said.
Peoria first subscribed to the system about a decade ago and covered roughly three square miles in South Peoria. Then it moved up to cover about three square miles in the East and West Bluffs. The new extension will cover a bit more of the latter area plus more of the Center Bluff, Grayeb said.
Each year, the city will pay about $300,000 for two current zones. If the city decides to continue with the new extension, then that would be an additional $70,000 a year.
Currently, Peoria has just over 10% of its 50-square-mile footprint covered by SpotSpotter. The addition would bring that closer to roughly 15%. Grayeb said that if money was no object, he’d like to have all the city covered, given the highly mobile nature of some shooting incidents.
Oyler agreed but also said a review should be merited of any expansion so the council isn’t wasting city resources.