Fresno Police are asking Fresno Unified to help expand the Shot Spotter Program

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Shot Spotter is a network of microphones place throughout the city to pick up the sounds of gun shots. (KFSN)

Shot Spotter is a network of microphones place throughout the city to pick up the sounds of gun shots. A computer immediately zeroes in on where the shots were fired and police can quickly respond.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "In 70-percent of the cases where we receive a Shot Spotter alert, no one calls the police department and the only way we are aware of that gunshot being fired or the shooting occurring is through Shot Spotter."

Chief Dyer and Fresno Unified's Interim School Superintendent Bob Nelson believe it is especially critical to identify the source of gunshots around schools, to determine if students are at risk.

"If this tool does anything to secure the safety of teachers, students, and staff members that's something we need to be behind," said Nelson.

The district is already spending about $160,000 a year to cover three square miles of the city encompassing schools. Dyer is asking the school board to expand that by another 3 square miles, for another half a million dollars over the next three years.

"With this approval there will be more than 70 schools covered with some kind of shot spotter detection."

School Board Member Carol Mills thinks the high tech security is worth the cost.

"I mean if we were to try to have hire people to add additional people to the campus that's an even greater cost really."

Dyer believes the technology provides an early warning system to schools, and can save lives.

The district has faced some criticism for past funding the police departments program, but the board unanimously approved the program last year and this expansion is expected to win approval Wednesday night.

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societyfresno unified school districtfresnofresno police departmentshotspotterFresno
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