CHAMPAIGN, ILL (WCIA)-A new software program may be a solution to decreasing gun violence in Champaign. Flock Safety, who develops and sells tools to law enforcement agencies and their corresponding cities, has created cameras to read license plates and sensors to record the sound of gun shots. “We are in the business of eliminating crime,” said Josh Thomas, vice president of marketing, Flock Safety.
Once the shots are recorded, it will give the Champaign Police Department sound evidence and help locate the spot where the gun was fired. “And then ultimately clear cases very, very quickly and then reduce the overall crime rate,” said Thomas.
The Champaign City Council will be voting on whether to purchase the license plate readers, and to try the Flock Safety’s newest software, Raven, which detects gun violence and alerts law enforcement the location. When asked if solving the gun violence issue was possible, city council member Tom Bruno says he is not sure how it will happen. “I’m not optimistic that there is an easy solution,” said Bruno.
Bruno says he and other city leaders will do whatever it takes. “it’s such a devastating problem that we have to do everything that comes to mind that might be helpful,” said Bruno. “Hopefully make tragedies a little less common a little less likely, even if we are uncertain if something might work or not.”
If passed Champaign won’t be the first city to use this kind of technology, The City of Springfield implemented a system that detects gunfire last year.
In addition to talking about the shot finder technology, Champaign’s city council will also look at installing license plate reader cameras. That technology captures license plates and vehicle descriptions. Law enforcement can use that information to track criminals down. In all, the shot finder and license plate reader system will cost the city $189 thousand.