Chicago City Council committee passes ordinance that could keep ShotSpotter in some wards

ByRob Hughes WLS logo
Monday, April 1, 2024
Committee passes ordinance that could keep ShotSpotter in some wards
What is a shot spotter? A city council committee passed an ordinance that could keep ShotSpotter, Chicago shootings detector, in some wards.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An ordinance that could keep controversial crime-fighting technology ShotSpotter in some wards is now heading for a vote before the full Chicago City Council.

Alderman Raymond Lopez, who represents the 15th Ward, shared an audio recording to make his case for the continued use of ShotSpotter.

"That is not fireworks. That is 19 rounds being fired off in the 8th District," Lopez said.

The Chicago City Council Committee on Police and Fire moved forward a measure that would give alderpeople a say in the continued use of gunshot location technology. The move happened despite Mayor Brandon Johnson's efforts to end the use of ShotSpotter after the city hosts the Democratic National Convention this summer.

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

"Our constituents and our taxpayers and the people that live in Chicago should be just as important as the delegates and the DNC and the elected officials that are coming into Chicago," said 24th Ward Alderwoman Monique Scott.

Scott said if ShotSpotter is a tool good enough to use through the DNC, it is good enough to use for the citizens of Chicago moving forward.

"I live in a community that is plagued with violence. I am guilty of not calling police. I hear them, and I never think to call. It's because it's just become a norm," Scott said.

READ MORE | ShotSpotter contract to end nearly 3 years after I-Team raised doubts about effectiveness, value

The ordinance would require a full city council vote to remove ShotSpotter from any city ward.

In response to the ordinance passing committee, a mayor's office spokesperson told ABC7, "Public safety is a citywide issue within the responsibility of the police department, with oversight by the Office of the Mayor, and cannot be effectively managed on a ward-by-ward basis in a way that undercuts that authority."

ABC7 reached out to the company behind ShotSpotter about the city council's effort to continue partial use of the technology, but they declined to comment.

The ordinance passed through committee by a unanimous vote. It now goes before the full city council for more consideration.

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