Over the past two weeks, both Atlanta, Georgia, and Seattle, Washington, have joined the growing list of cities rejecting advances and contracts from ShotSpotter, Inc. The company, which sells a technology that detects loud noises, has made repeated efforts to add the two cities to its customer base. The Atlanta Police Department rejected the technology after a pilot program, while Seattle City Council did not let the proposed investment make it beyond the annual budgetary process.
Atlanta first tried ShotSpotter in 2019, rejecting the technology due to “the cost of the application, the quality of the data provided, and the lack of operational efficiencies gained by the implementation of ShotSpotter.” The 2019 trial period sent officers on over 1,300 alerts, but officers only recovered five weapons. Data has not yet been published from the 2022 trial.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s proposed $1,000,000 investment in ShotSpotter technology did not make it past the city’s budgetary process. Many council members had higher priorities for a city facing a budget shortfall, seeking to fund legitimate ways to support people who are struggling.
The technology is faulty. Police are coming in assuming there is an active shooting happening, they are coming in anticipating that they have to be aggressive. That just escalates the chances that more Black and Brown folks are going to die at the hands of officers.Teresa Mosqueda — Chair, Select Budget Committee, Seattle City Council
For more information about cities that have rejected ShotSpotter, detailed findings about the dangers of ShotSpotter technology, and ways you can join Campaign Zero’s advocacy, visit www.CancelShotSpotter.com.