Portland, Oregon, should adopt controls for gunshot detection system, community group says

Portland leaders would need to approve more than a dozen terms before the city begins using ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology to address privacy, surveillance and other concerns, a group of law enforcement officials recommended Monday. community monitoring.

Suggestions from the Community Watch Group for the Police Office Targeted Response Team:

1. Develop a “Violent Impact Actors” to help officers identify and arrest “serial trigger shooters” to reduce shootings. It should be developed by the police office, together with municipal authorities and residents.

2. Provide ongoing implicit bias training to all officers on the Police Bureau’s Targeted Response Team, Specialized Gun Violence Team, and other patrol officers who would respond directly to ShotSpotter sensor alerts regarding real-time gunshots.

3. Conduct an ongoing evaluation of any unintended consequences resulting from the use of ShotSpotter technology.

4. Develop safeguards against potential violations of legal or civil rights that may arise from the use of technology, including, but not limited to, direct or indirect capture and collection of information beyond noise Gunshots.

5. Perform comprehensive ShotSpotter technology data collection and analysis, public safety research and performance analysis, and share all findings with the public.

6. Invite further community input on the technology as the city considers this recommendation.

7. Ask city leaders to approve funding to help police cover the costs of adopting and maintaining the technology over the life of the contract. Make sure the funding does not come from any other utility.

8. Establish a reasonable pilot project schedule to test the ShotSpotter in Portland, with data analysis and results available for review.

9. Obtain the right to terminate any ShotSpotter agreement in accordance with contract laws.

10. Ensure sensors are placed equitably through an “evidence-based approach,” reflecting current gun violence shooting statistics in the Portland metro area.

11. Strengthen the Police Bureau’s collaboration with other emergency responders, such as medical and emergency responders, who may be called to the scene of the shooting.

12. Ask the police bureau to provide a “high level of public transparency” regarding ShotSpotter sensor data and gun violence trends in Portland.

13. Work with prosecutors to develop investigative guidelines and limitations on the use and incorporation of ShotSpotter data in the criminal prosecution and sentencing of gun violence cases.

The community watch group also invited three outside criminal justice experts to review its report on ShotSpotter technology.

They were Reygan Cunningham, senior partner at the California Partnership for Safe Communities consultancy; David M. Kennedy, professor and criminologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York; and Walter Katz, vice president of criminal justice at the consulting firm Arnold Ventures who worked 17 years as a public defender in Southern California.

When its report was released on Monday, the group had received criticism from Cunningham and Kennedy but not from Katz.

Kennedy’s comments:

– He called the community group’s recommendations “very strong and relevant.”

– He wrote that he supports Project Safe Neighborhood’s federal approach of identifying the individuals and groups responsible for the majority of shootings, as well as those at high risk of being killed in shootings, and combining that approach with ShotSpotter technology to combat violence. ShotSpotter should be seen as “a complement” to these other steps, he said.

– He recommended that the use of a violent impact player list not only be used for law enforcement, but also for violence intervention by outreach workers: operations, ShotSpotter or any other means – must be shared with non-law enforcement actors in a legal, structured and accountable manner to enhance the safety and well-being of those at high risk and to minimize the need for deterrence or law enforcement as much as possible,” he wrote.

Recognizing that gun violence is concentrated among a very small, high-risk population, it is critical to identify those groups behind the shootings and those at high risk of being victimized, he wrote. .

— He recommended that the work of Targeted Response Team officers be tied to “non-law enforcement resources and interventions,” such as outreach workers who often go out of their way to support families affected by armed violence. The community group agreed and urged city leaders to encourage and help cultivate better communication and positive working relationships between police and outreach or social justice workers.

Cunningham’s comments:

— She said she was happy to see Portland moving in this direction, however, she cautioned that the city should try to manage public expectations, noting that technology only works when the right resources are put into it.

– There must be a sufficient number of officers to respond to the shots.

– Technology allows, at the very least, the collection and analysis of forensic evidence to help solve a shooting, she wrote – evidence technicians can collect timely data and analyze casings from recovered used balls.

“It would be difficult to use ShotSpotter technology to deal with potential school shootings,” she noted. If a sensor is placed near a school, it could pick up the sounds of gunfire and quickly alert the police, but “the challenge is knowing which schools are more at risk of being victimized,” she said. writing. Unless there is an unlimited amount of money to install sensors near every school, it is unlikely to address potential school shootings.

—Maxine Bernstein

Email to [email protected]; 503-221-8212

Follow on Twitter @maxoregonian

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James V. Hayes