FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – On Thursday, the Fresno City Council choose to move forward the expansion of the Fresno Police Department’s ShotSpotter program.
Since 2015, the Fresno Police Department has been relying heavily on ShotSpotter technology used to pinpoint the exact location of gunfire.
In 2017, Kori Muhammad went on a shooting spree in downtown Fresno killing three men.
He had previously shot and killed a security guard at a Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue and investigators found the shots were racially motivated.
This incident is a prime example of why Chief Paco Balderrama continues to back ShotSpotter technology that he says, helped law enforcement to save more lives that day.
“It let us know where the shootings were taking place, what direction he was going and quite frankly more people would have died without this type of technology,” says Chief Balderrama.
In Fresno, when the technology was introduced, it covered three square miles, but over the years, it’s grown to 14 miles.
Chief Balderrama says with shootings being so rampant in Fresno and the City Council’s approved expansion of the technology back in spring, the department has been able to expand coverage, even more, adding four more zones which make up about three additional square miles of coverage.
“Any areas where we’ve had incidents of gunfire, where we feel significant and advantageous to have the system there, that’s where we add it,” says Chief Balderrama.
Chief Balderrama says data about the technology’s impact on the community speaks volumes.
Since 2020, the technology has led to 140 arrests.
“We know that the program works, we know that it’s allowing us to take guns off the streets and violent gun members of the streets and allowing us to respond to incidents where someone may need our help,” says Chief Balderrama.
The cost of the technology is a little over $650,000, money the chief says is worth it.