Pittsburgh councilman wants gunshot microphones in crime-ridden neighborhoods

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PITTSBURGH - The city of Pittsburgh could soon have a new high-tech tool used to fight crime.

One city councilman wants to install a gunshot detection system in East End neighborhoods.

The ShotSpotter System uses acoustic sensors placed on buildings that can instantly pinpoint locations of gunfire, as well as what type of gun was used and send that information to police.

People who live in Homewood said they favor the proposal.

"I think it's a great idea. A lot of people are dying senselessly," said Jason Weatherly.

"I think it's a pretty good idea. Anything to reduce crime in the neighborhood. We really need it," said another Homewood resident.

Councilman Ricky Burgess is seeking city council's approval of the $150,000 system and wants to have it tested in Homewood, Larimer and East Liberty.

According to police records, the department logged 2,048 reports of shots fired in the city last year. Documents show that 33 percent of those reports were from neighborhoods in East End.

"I think with those machines in place the police response time would be faster and accurate and would get some of the idiots off the street," Weatherly said.

Burgess said it's his goal to have the ShotSpotter System implemented by the end of the year.