Shot Spotter Returns to Huntington Station
By Rupert Deedes
Thanks to Suffolk DA Ray Tierney and County Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R-Centerport), Shot Spotter, a tool which helps the police locate the source of gunfire, is returning to Huntington Station after a 4-year absence.
The ShotSpotter system detects the location from which a gun is fired and then relays the information in real time to local law enforcement.
ShotSpotter will be employed by Suffolk County Police Department’s 2nd Precinct. It will be deployed in Huntington Station, selected because of a spike in gun violence in that community.
The $250,000 to acquire and maintain the ShotSpotter is part of a security package, which is funded by an allocation of $1 million from New York State. The safety package also includes $500,000 for the DA’s office to enhance and update electronic surveillance equipment and $250,000 for the SCPD to purchase mobile license plate readers.
Tierney said that while it’s not “a cure-all,” ShotSpotter is a powerful tool in an overall approach.
Suffolk County used ShotSpotter in the past, but the use of the technology was discontinued in 2018.
The technology has advanced significantly since then, and Tierney noted that the system now uses an app which sends the ShotSpotter notification straight to a squad car instead of calling a dispatcher. The app also provides the police officer in the squad car with a map -- andadditional information, such as directions, number of shots, location, and the elevation of the shots.
Tierney said that 50% of all shootings between 2019 and 2022 took place in only 22 square miles in Suffolk, spread out over nine areas in the county. A small portion of Huntington Station is one of those areas. Tierney said the hope is to extend the ShotSpotter system to every such area in the 22 square miles.
Huntington Town Attorney Deborah Misir praised Tierney and Bontempi's initiative to restore the system to Huntington.
"I fully support DA Ray Tierney in his efforts to enhance the safety of all Huntington residents, particularly our most vulnerable residents, and thank Legislator Stephanie Bontempi for helping make the funding available." stated Misir. "ShotSpotter is a proven technology, and I am proud to work with our DA Ray Tierney, to make our communities safe."