HOUSTON - With the murder rate rising to record levels and gun-play a daily fact of life in far too many Houston-area neighborhoods, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia is putting in place a potentially game-changing, anti-crime technology called “Shot Spotter”.
“You take the middle person out of it and it happens in nanoseconds if that,” said Garcia.
Shot Spotter amounts to an integrated network of sensors and microphones strategically deployed throughout neighborhoods that detect and analyze gunfire.
No more waiting for residents, fearful of retribution, to anxiously call 9-1-1.
“It will be able to triangulate the shots being fired. It will be able to tell law enforcement the caliber of weapons being fired. It will be able to tell law enforcement the type of weaponry being used,” said Garcia.
Information is delivered in real-time, allowing police to dispatch the closest officers with appropriate back-up in close pursuit.
A former Harris County Sheriff, Garcia is funding a $750,000 pilot program in Aldine from his Precinct 2 budget which will be operational next April.
Based on its performance in dozens of communities across the country, the Commissioner believes Shot Spotter will provide a demonstrable deterrent.
“Now with the technology in place, there we will be able to show the community we care, we are responding, we are arresting the right people and we are bringing needed change to the community,” said Garcia.
Given the interest of other Commissioners, if the Shot Spotter technology performs works as well as expected in Aldine, the surveillance could become high tech standard protection for every community in Harris County.