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Denver City Council to vote on expansion of ShotSpotter system into downtown, north Capitol Hill

Amended contract to cost additional $104,250
Posted at 2:39 AM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 08:54:00-04

DENVER — The Denver City Council will vote Monday on a resolution to expand the ShotSpotter system into north Capitol Hill and the downtown area.

Council members will actually vote on an amendment to an existing contract. The amendment will pay for expansion of services to an extra 1.52 miles of area, at a cost of just over $104,000.

Current ContractAdditional FundsTotal Contract

Current Contract Term New Ending Date
01/08/2016 - 12/31/2019 01/08/2016 - 12/31/2019

ShotSpotter uses high-tech sensors to detect a variety of implosive incidents and then classifies them as gunshots, fireworks or something else.

The city has used the system in northeast Denver for several years.

District 9 City Councilman Albus Brooks said they have long planned to expand the system into the downtown area, which has recently been rattled by late night gun and knife violence, much of it in a one or two block area of LoDo.

LoDo Gun Violence

August 23, 20184 people stabbed - 14th & Market
September 16, 20183 people shot - 15th & Market
September 28, 2018 1 killed, 1 wounded in shooting - 14th & Market
March 10, 20191 killed, 4 injured in shooting - 15th & Market

Councilman Brooks is a big supporter of the ShotSpotter system.

He cited the area near 37th Avenue and Vine as an example of why he supports it.

"This place, where I'm standing, had 50 rounds go off, and we were able to triangulate data and zero in on where those folks were at a moment's notice and get a police response, so it works," he said.

Brooks said many people might think that the expansion into LoDo is directly related to the increase in violence, "but it has been a strategy that the (police) chief and commanders have been working on for sometime."

He said the system is more than worth the money being spent.

"It makes people feel safe," he said. "We have an issue with gun violence in our communities and we need to address that. Until we address that fully, with real gun legislation, we will have ShotSpotter throughout this city."

"I think that's great to have that available," said Brittany Ouimette, who was out on the town with friends Sunday evening.

Brittany's sister, Julie, told Denver7 she's read stories about some of the shootings.

"It's a little scary to think that there's all this craziness going on, but we still end up down here anyway," she said.

When asked why, Julie said, "because we love Denver. We love being down here."

Joey Goodman said he also thinks it's a good idea.

He manages the bar at Oskar Blues, a brew pub in LoDo, just two blocks away from the scene of some of the shootings.

"There was one morning, where we had an early meeting, and there were a few bullet holes in some cars and a couple pools of blood that everyone got to see," he said.

Goodman said he's "heard of gunshots late at night, when bartenders are closing up and they see a storm of police cars barreling down the road to check out what's going on."

He said he's curious to see what it's going to be like this summer, once people are out and about more in the city.

Councilman Brooks said there have been fewer shootings in the neighborhoods where the system is already in place.

"Even criminals know about this," he said. "It's the chatter amongst criminals on the ground."