Tierney, Misir: Bring Back ShotSpotter
by Maureen Daly
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney testified before the Suffolk Legislature on Thursday that he wants to restore the public safety system "ShotSpotter" to communities and neighborhoods Suffolk County - such as the high-crime area in Huntington Station south of the tracks.
Huntington's Town Attorney Deborah Misir agrees, and has met with Tierney to support the project.
ShotSpotter was installed in Huntington Station in 2011, but then removed in 2019. It consists of a series of echo locator microphones, that triangulate the sound of a gunshot to instantly pinpoint the location of the gunfire. That allows the police department to immediately deploy police cars to the exact location of the gunfire.
Tierney requested funding from Suffolk County to restore and re-deploy the technology.
“A gunfire detection system such as Shot Spotter will help to protect vulnerable communities traditionally under-served by law enforcement," said Tierney. "Statistics show that these same communities are besieged by gunfire at a staggeringly higher rate than other communities in Suffolk County.”
Most residents and businesses in Huntington Station had welcomed the ShotSpotter technology, as a major weapon against violent crime.
“Everyone recognizes the danger of gun violence to vulnerable communities following the events in Buffalo and Uvalde", added Tierney. "We have a duty to protect all the People in all of the communities in Suffolk County.”
After ShotSpotter was removed in 2019, "there was a sharp increase - as shooting incidents doubled.” noted Tierney. "In 2021, shootings continued to increase another 34%."
"In 2020-2021, after removal of Shot Spotter there were 637 shootings – 272 in 2020 and 365 in 2021. 128 people shot and 32 gun deaths. And 2022 is on track for an even worse outcome. So far looking at the Year-to-Date numbers for 2022, there have been at least 28 people shot and 9 of those persons have died. That is a 50% increase over 2021.”
Huntington Town Attorney Deborah Misir praised Tierney's initiative to restore the system to Huntington.
"I fully support the efforts of DA Ray Tierney to enhance the safety of all Huntington residents, particularly our most vulnerable residents." stated Misir.
"ShotSpotter is a proven technology," added Misir. "It is one tool in a law enforcement toolkit that allows police to timely surge resources to the most needed areas. I am proud to work with our DA, Ray Tierney, to make our communities safe."