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Crime-Fighting Goes High Tech: Police Add Gunshot Detectors, More Cameras

By Heather Cherone | March 20, 2017 7:42am | Updated on March 21, 2017 11:22am
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Supt. Eddie Johnson tour the Strategic Decision Support Center at the Engelwood Police District Headquarters.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Supt. Eddie Johnson tour the Strategic Decision Support Center at the Engelwood Police District Headquarters.
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Mayor's Office

LAWNDALE — Police officers in the Gresham and Ogden police districts will soon have new tools at their disposal to prevent gun violence and to lock up criminals fast, the mayor's office announced Monday.

Chicago police officials said the department's Shotspotter program that detects gunshots will be expanded to cover North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Gresham, South Englewood and Chatham.

In addition, the number of cameras keeping watch from the sky will be increased in an effort to help officers monitor crime — and track trends — in real time and redeploy officers quickly, officials said.

That data will be fed into a Strategic Decision Support Centers at each district's headquarters for analysis, and crucial information will be sent to officers in the field via smartphone or in-car computer, officials said.

The Gresham (6th) and Ogden (10th) districts will be the fifth and sixth districts to get the high-tech crime fighting tools.

The new technology was first rolled out in the Englewood and Harrison police districts and later in the Austin and Deering police districts.

The tab for the new technology in the Gresham and Ogden districts will be $3 million and come out of the department's already approved budget, said Juilenn Kaviar, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel began rolling out the effort in January as police struggled to fight a surge of murders and shootings concentrated on Chicago's West and South sides.

In a statement, the mayor's office said the effort had already paid off.

Englewood has seen a 60 percent drop in shootings since the new technology was implemented, officials said.