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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: Gunfire detection system has been discontinued in favor of other methods

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Tuesday that the contract for a gunshot detection system called Shotspotter that was installed in several public housing units in the San Juan metropolitan area has expired and will not be renewed in favor of superior methods.

“The federal government, the U.S. Department of Housing [and Urban Development], made the decision some time ago not to continue funding that program, not to give us the funds to continue that program. But now we have other electronic methods of detecting criminal activity. I’m talking about cameras that are being installed on major thoroughfares, a command center at the level of the Department of Public Safety that monitors [such activity],” the governor said in response to questions from reporters. “Now we have other electronic systems that are better, let’s say. And anyway, as I said, that was a program that was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing, which decided to stop funding it.”

“The systems were located in public housing, mainly, and that’s why it was the federal Department of Housing that provided the funds and some time ago decided not to do it,” Pierluisi added. “And we have replaced that system with other electronic methods to monitor the incidence of crime.”

The Shotspotter system was installed in the summer of 2013 by the administration of then-Gov. Alejandro García Padilla. It began as a pilot program within a perimeter of several square miles in the San Juan metropolitan area.

Shotspotter is a cyber monitoring system that operates by placing dozens of acoustic sensors in a given perimeter, which have the ability to, within 30 seconds, detect the detonation of a firearm, identify if it is an automatic weapon, record the shots individually, identify on a location map or global positioning system, or GPS, the exact place and time when the weapon was fired as well as automatically notify nearby patrols. The system operated in some public housing units in San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Bayamón, parts of Carolina and Guaynabo.

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