Macon-Bibb to install technology to detect gunfire

Macon-Bibb is the second city in the state to use ShotSpotter technology.
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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –  After a year of more murders and gun violence, Macon-Bibb County is taking further action to address the issue by introducing a new technology called ShotSpotter.

ShotSpotters are devices that pick up sound from gunshots and can determine whether something is actually a gunshot or just a loud sound. Once it is identified as a gun sound, the sheriff’s office gets an immediate notification.

“You may get 10 calls for one incident,” Sheriff David Davis said. “So it may look like we got a lot of calls, but it may only be for one or two incidences. So this will tell us how many incidents of gunfire we had, and it will differentiate so we will know that it’s actually gunfire, and not fireworks or the backfire of a car or those sorts of things.”

Pastor Kenneth McMillan at Link Baptist Church says he hears gunfire often enough that he can immediately identify the sound.

“The gunfire is absolutely scary,” McMillan said. “It’s scary when you hear it and when you see it.”

Pastor McMillan says in the Bellevue community where he works, gunfire happens all the time, and often with no response from the sheriff’s office. He says he is hopeful tthe new ShotSpotter technology will get more eyes on his community and keep guns off the streets.

“They’ll get a lot of information from this area which will help us, help the people in the community, and help the sheriff’s office see what’s going on as well,” McMillan said.

Davis is confident ShotSpotter will help reduce gun violence around the county and says he fully supports the new technology.

Macon-Bibb Commissioners were in full support as well, with zero commissioners voting in opposition.

The county plans to spend $2 million in American Rescue Plan funding to install and set up the notification system.

Davis says time will tell if this investment was the right decision.

ShotSpotter says it will take 4 to 6 weeks to install and set up each device. Sheriff Davis expects the system to be installed by the end of the year.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News