Durham City Council has opted not to extend the contract for ShotSpotter technology, a gunshot detection system, for at least three months. The decision reflects the council’s desire to gather more data on the results of the initial year-long pilot program before making a commitment to the technology. The pilot program concluded earlier in the month, and council members believe that additional information is necessary to assess the effectiveness of ShotSpotter adequately. While the mayor expressed disappointment with the decision, some council members cited the importance of ensuring that the technology aligns with the city’s objectives and community needs.
The city of Durham has committed over $50,000 to the ShotSpotter program, and these funds are currently allocated to support the technology. However, without an extension, the money cannot be repurposed for other uses until council members have sufficient data on the program’s impact. The decision to withhold approval for the technology’s continuation highlights the council’s commitment to evidence-based decision-making and a thorough evaluation process.
Despite the disappointment expressed by the mayor, some council members remain open to the possibility of utilizing ShotSpotter technology in the future. They underscore the importance of gathering comprehensive data to make informed choices regarding the city’s public safety initiatives. Council members believe that a more thorough understanding of ShotSpotter’s outcomes will help determine whether the technology aligns with the city’s broader goals and the well-being of its residents.