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ShotSpotter alerts and violent crime trending down in Jacksonville early into 2024

Shotspotter alerts and violent crime trending down in Jacksonville early into 2024.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is touting new statistics that suggest shootings are down in high crime areas, thanks to gunshot detection technology.

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Alerts triggered by ShotSpotter devices are down nearly 25 percent compared to this time last year according to JSO.

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By April of last year, ShotSpotter devices like these had alerted 429 times.

So far this year, there have been just 325 alerts.

“It’s not going to solve violent crime. It’s not going to solve shootings, but it’s a piece of the puzzle that we can use to do that,” JSO Assistant Chief Michael Paul said.

Paul said the decrease in ShotSpotter alerts suggests the devices are proving effective.

“It is a tool that we use to keep people safe. It keeps people who are shot, and no one calls 911 alive. It also alerts the police to gunshots in neighborhoods where people aren’t reporting those gunshots,” Paul said.

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JSO stats also show shootings are down compared to last year.

There have been 74 so far in 2024, compared to 81 during the same time frame in 2023, representing an 8.6 percent decrease.

Additionally, JSO stats show violent crime in general is down 8.7 percent compared to last year.

Murders specifically are down nearly 30 percent.

Paul noted the ShotSpotter alert statistics specifically suggest the technology is helping crack down on gun violence in the areas of greatest concern.

“Because we are seeing fewer shootings in those areas, and you know the fact is that ShotSpotter is where the majority of those shootings are taking place based upon our data,” Paul said.

JSO told Action News Jax the agency budgeted $375,000 for ShotSpotter technology this fiscal year.

Paul argued it’s worth the cost, based on the results the agency has seen it deliver.

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