ShotSpotter debuts in Durham in September, here's what people are saying about it now

Akilah Davis Image
Monday, August 1, 2022
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Once the technology goes live, Durham will be the sixth city in North Carolina to implement ShotSpotter.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- She lives in constant fear. That's the unfortunate reality for Ashley Canady who lives in McDougald Terrace. Canady has been raising her four children there for the past 13 years. She says the constant gun violence is taking a toll on the family, including her small children.

"I have one child with PTSD. I have a 6-year-old that doesn't like fireworks anymore because she thinks they're gunshots," Canady said. "I've always feared I might lose one of my kids to gun violence. They've seen too much. Will they be hit by a bullet? I'm trying not to lose them to the streets."

McDougald Terrace is one of several communities slated to deploy ShotSpotter sensors in the coming weeks. North Carolina Central University is another that is investing in campus security and advocating for more. According to the chancellor, once the technology is activated campus police will work with Durham police to respond to sensors.

"The ShotSpotter would be another added level of security around the campus in the area or city streets that we do not control," said NCCU Chancellor Johnson Akinleye.

This move makes the Bull City the sixth city statewide to implement ShotSpotter. The anticipated date the ShotSpotter technology pilot is set to go active is Sept. 15, 2022. City leadership is confident about this technology because they say it is about changing the narrative.

"Less than two miles from our city's center is another narrative. Kids have just resolved themselves to the notion that gunfire every night is part of the neighborhood. To me, that's immoral and unacceptable. If there's something we can do as a government as an elected official, it's a moral obligation," said Durham Mayor Pro-Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton.

Durham Police say the sensors are not up yet. It is likely they will be attached to poles and on building tops.

Residents such as Canady are willing to try it out because her kids lives could depend on it.

" A lot of times people in the community are afraid to call the police because they don't want to be tracked down and have people showing up to their door. So from what I'm hearing when shots ring out it will automatically dispatch an officer. So, we'll see," she said.