System shows gun firing decline in San Francisco 

The City is on its way to blanket a total of 7 square miles in a gunshot detection system. That system, known as ShotSpotter, is currently listening for gunshots in 3.3 squares miles.

On Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee approved a $1 million grant to expand the system an additional 4 square miles. The full board will vote Tuesday whether to accept it.

Police Department Lt. Mikail Ali, who is in charge of the system, says it is having an effect in the three areas it covers, the Mission, Bayview and Western Addition.

In a two-month period during 2009, there were 244 gun firings detected compared to 177 in the same period of 2010.

The technology enables police to respond within minutes to the scene where a gunshot was detected. However, many gunshots fired in San Francisco go largely unreported.

“When I came into office, it was evident in some pockets, my district and others, there were people resigned to live with gunfire and resigned to the fact that there may not be a police response,” Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said. “They themselves were either fearful or just frustrated and did not report the gunfire.”

Ali said the system’s expansion will “make this a more contiguous system, make it much more effective in terms of identifying gun fire.”

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