FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Making schools and the community safer-- that's what the Fresno Police Department and Fresno Unified are trying to do together.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said thanks to new technology called Shotspotter, his officers responded to sounds of gunfire before any 911 call was made. "As soon as the gunshot occurs it's analyzed very quickly to determine that it is gunfire-- not fireworks, not backfire."
Once the program makes that determination, an alert is sent to patrol cars. "That alert will be a map that allows them to see exactly where that particular gunfire is," said Dyer.
Now the police department is teaming up with the Fresno Unified School District to expand the range of the Shotspotter. Going from a total of three square miles of coverage to six. The district is funding the added three square miles. "We want to make our schools the safest place in Fresno, and this technology is going to allow for that," said Dyer.
But it's not just schools that will benefit from the Shotspotter-- it's neighborhoods as well. And board members who Action News spoke with said it will come in handy, especially when getting kids to and from school safely. "We have a lot of students who walk to and from school, and so, if we have a safer neighborhood it makes it safer for them to do so," said Carol Mills, Fresno Unified Board member.
Increasing the scope of Shotspotter will cost around $500,000 for a three-year subscription. Heidi White-- a mom of four-- said it is money well spent. "To know that our city is being proactive and not reactive-- that they are thinking ahead if this were to happen here what can we do better. I think that's great."