Gun violence in Malaga prompts community to find new solutions

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Concerns led to a community meeting Tuesday where neighbors brought the ambitious idea to introduce Shotspotter to the area. (KFSN)

Families in Malaga say they live in fear among continuous reports of gang activity, gunfire, and fighting. However, the final straw came in November off South Calvin Avenue.

Maria Diaz lives down the street from a shooting that landed five young men in the hospital. Concerns like hers led to a community meeting Tuesday where neighbors brought the ambitious idea to introduce ShotSpotter to the area.

Fresno police are the only agency with the technology in the Valley. Its sensors can detect gunshots and generate a faster response than calling 911.

In a community where people are hesitant calling the police, supporters say the system will cut down on crime.

"You're talking about more security, I'm pretty sure if somebody else saw a difference in their community I'm pretty sure we'll see one here," Diaz said.

However, ShotSpotter is expensive, it costs $65,000 dollars for one square mile, the size of Malaga. The alternative, hiring a sheriff's deputy to monitor the area is likely to be even more costly.

Neighbor, Jim Anderson said, "It's the start, it's the start of a public discussion about public safety, and can ShotSpotter promote public safety."

That conversation is already beginning with the board of supervisors as well as the sheriff's office.
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shotspottermalagaFresno County
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