Reps. Kelly and Sensenbrenner introduce technology bill to assist law enforcement

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information provided by the Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Washington, DC (November 22, 2019) – This week Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Gunfire Detection and Location Technology Act.

The legislation would direct the US Attorney General to provide grants to states and localities for gunfire detection and location technology. Specifically, it would authorize $40 million in grants to be distributed in equal parts over the coming four fiscal years.

“As we work to prevent gun violence, we can and must use technology to equip first responders with the resources to respond more quickly in service of victims and investigations,” said Congresswoman Kelly.

“Gunfire detection technology has proven to be successful in many cities across the US, including in my home state of Wisconsin. It’s time we empower law enforcement officers in other locations to implement this technology so they may better protect their communities,” said Congressman Sensenbrenner.

The technology involves a network of sensors used to detect gunshots, many of which are unreported to 911 dispatchers. Once a gunshot is detected, the technology triangulates the origin and notifies law enforcement with real-time data, allowing for speedier access to victims and rapid securing of the crime scene. Additionally, the data can be used—via a secure database—for predictive intelligence, which further improves response times and resource allocation.

This technology is already used by more than 100 cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York City. According to one report, the city of Milwaukee has seen a 38 percent decrease in the amount of gunshots fired in areas where this technology was used from 2017 to 2018.

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