Categorized | FROGTOWN

ShotSpotter program will help city’s response to gun-related crimes

Posted on 20 March 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Dai Thao, St. Paul Council Member

Ward 1
St. Paul City Council

Dai Thao

As your Ward 1 City Council member, I am proud to continue to serve the hardworking people of Ward 1. I have a lot of ambitious, but necessary plans and proposals that I am working on to ensure that St. Paul remains the best place to live and work. Coming out of the budget discussions at the end of 2019, I heard loud and clear that public safety is a priority for residents.
I am encouraged and inspired by the conversations I have with residents and have always believed that community building and working together is our best path to success. During budget conversations last year, I had hoped to secure more money to provide support and funding to more of our small, local organizations that work directly with youth and communities of color. I am excited that in 2020 we will be able to utilize Community Organization Partnership Program (COPP) money to provide funding to more organizations that were previously being left out of funding opportunities. Working with my city council colleagues has given us the opportunity to bring more people and organizations to the table and really help support the work already being done to address the root causes of violence in our community.
Another key component of this issue that I hear about frequently is getting ShotSpotter in our city. This month I hope to introduce a resolution that will seek private funding for a two-year pilot program for ShotSpotter. I believe there is significant value in including a gun-shot detection program as part of our public safety tool box. If we can track and collect data in real time about shots fired, we provide St. Paul Police the ability to more effectively and efficiently patrol and respond to gun-related incidents.
Public safety is a multi-faceted issue that requires a multi-pronged solution. Funding organizations that are doing intervention work and community building on the ground is a necessary and valuable endeavor. We also have an immediate duty to stop gun violence in its tracks and that’s where tools like ShotSpotter come in. I am willing to do everything we can to demand a safer St. Paul. Lewis is fond of saying, “Just do what your heart allows you to do.”