Chicago police supt. defends ShotSpotter, says communication with mayor 'could have been better'

Craig Wall Image
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Chicago police superintendent defends ShotSpotter technology
Sources said Chicago police, or CPD, Superintendent Larry Snelling did not hear about ShotSpotter contract decision before it went public.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling continued to defend ShotSpotter technology Tuesday, even though the police department will stop using it in September. He also addressed questions about how he found out the news.

ShotSpotter will remain a tool for Chicago police until September, under a contract extension signed with the city earlier this month.

Snelling was asked how losing that tech might impact public safety, and he said he can't predict that.

"Here's what I'll tell you. We have it now; we're going to use it to the best of our ability now. And we've done so throughout the time that we've had it," Snelling said.

CPD on Tuesday announced charges in a deadly West Side shooting and a suburban shootout from last week.

On Monday night, CPD responded to a shooting at 71st and State streets that left one man dead.

Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert.

The controversial technology was credited with alerting police, who helped another victim who was shot in the hand. Officers were also able to arrest two potential gunmen.

"Obviously, I'm for technology there's going to help us get to a location quicker and help us save lives," Snelling said.

Snelling did not want to wade into the politics of the mayor's decision to get rid of it.

The superintendent was out of the country when the mayor first announced he was cancelling the ShotSpotter contract, and sources said Snelling was not told about the decision before it became public.

On Tuesday, Snelling was careful with his words in addressing how he found out.

"The mayor and I have had a conversation about this. There was communication. The communication could have been better on both parts," Snelling said.

Snelling called that a distraction, saying he and the mayor are now on the same page about communication and keeping the city safe.

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