$492,000 Grant Award Will Help Toledo Police Combat Gun Violence

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The United States Justice Department announced earlier this week it would award more than $10 million in funding to support state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. The Toledo Police Department is among the recipients, receiving an award of $492,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) grant.

The grant application, filed by Toledo Police earlier this year, required applicants to propose “innovative technology implementation” that addresses a specific crime problem. The Toledo Police grant application proposed the implementation of technology called “ShotSpotter” (real-time gunshot detection and alert system) coupled with a specially trained criminal analyst who will work to analyze ShotSpotter, NIBIN, and other data to assist detectives in both fatal and non-fatal shooting investigations.

The department currently uses seven gunshot detection cameras that pan to the area of a detected gunshot to capture video evidence. ShotSpotter differs in that it uses acoustic sensors to detect and triangulate gunshots within a given geographic area. Information is then sent from ShotSpotter to police dispatch in real-time. Officers responding to a shooting scene will be able to confirm from ShotSpotter exactly when and where gunshots were detected. According to ShotSpotter, the technology has been shown to increase detection of gunfire incidents, improve police response times to help victims and identify witnesses, and help police discover evidence that may have otherwise gone undetected.

As part of the grant award, Toledo Police will be required to measure the impact of the technology implementation and share the results to further the body of knowledge as it pertains to law enforcement best practices. U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Ohio, Justin Herdman, United States Marshals Service Northern District of Ohio, Resident Agent in Charge Michael Medlin, ATF Toledo, and Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Phillip Dieble, FBI Cleveland Division, Toledo RA assisted the Toledo Police Department in receiving this award.

“This is another way Toledo, like other cities across the nation, is fighting back against gun violence,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “ShotSpotter can assist police officers in their search for victims by identifying the area where shots were originally fired. It may help us save a life.”

“This money, nearly half a million dollars, will put our Toledo law enforcement partners in better position to identify and respond to violent crime in our community,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “This money will make Toledo’s residents safer, and we look forward to helping the city implement these grant funds.”

“We are always looking for innovative ways to serve the community and keep Toledo safe,” Police Chief George Kral said. “The Bureau of Justice Assistance grant will advance the department’s use of technology and improve our approach in reducing violent crime in the city.”

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