ShotSpotter Funds Approved by Suffolk Leg
By Rupert Deedes
Eleven communities in Suffolk County - including Huntington Station - will be getting the latest gunshot detection system, following the Suffolk County Legislature’s approval last Tuesday of $1.8 million in funding for the ShotSpotter anti-crime system.
Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R-Centerport) was the key leader in the Suffolk Legislature in getting the ShotSpotter funds allocated.
The ShotSpotter system combines acoustic detection with GPS technology to locate the source of gun shots fired.
“ShotSpotter is not a panacea,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said Tuesday. “But it is going to allow us to effectively deal with gun violence in our underserved communities.”
ShotSpotter was deployed in Suffolk in late 2011, but in 2018, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone decided not to continue funding the program after police officials and others said that the technology was not effective.
In April this year, the county legislature directed the county police department to take another look at ShotSpotter after improvements to the system’s technology.Bellone said that these improvements caused him to change his view on deploying the system.
The technology will be deployed in Huntington Station, North Amityville, Wyandanch, Brentwood, Bay Shore, Central Islip, Coram, Gordon heights, North Bellport, Shirley and Mastic Beach.
Tierney said ShotSpotter technology could prevent over-policing by locating the precise location of gunshots.
“Police won’t need to blanket a neighborhood to find shooting locations because they will be sent directly to them,” Tierney said, adding: “It also means that every time a shot gets fired in these communities, there will be an immediate response from law enforcement.”