Sunday, October 14, 2012
OH THOSE SHOTSPOTTERS
Saturday’s Courier’s lead 1st page article “city gunshot alerts miss mark” once more calls our attention to the wisdom of even signing a lease on an annual basis for the system. Thank goodness there was a Council that had the astuteness to disregard our administration’s love affair with the sensational versus practicality.
According to the paper‘s article Hellwig described the contractual obligation to be a 85% success rate in recognizing shots in the target area. Not stated is what the percentage of missed shootings is acceptable in the contract. If in the three months since the system recorded 61 shot fired incidents that would amount to 20 shootings a month or five a week.
As much as there have been very few reported in the paper during that period either the public is not being informed about the actual crime rate in the city (considering the discharge of a firearm as criminal); or there are a high incidence of false reports that have required an expenditure of personnel and resources.
Since Hellwig is quoted as saying about the recent meeting with the vendors that he “delivered a ‘blunt assessment’ of nearly two dozen (24?) events that raised concern” it would appear that 40% of the reports were false.
Considering that the six documented shot firing incidents would represent a 9% missed shot firing episodes; and we know that the 61 reported incidents cannot be right, the total percentage of actual misses and false incidents could be considered to be about a 45% failure rate.
Adding up all the missed incidents and unknown false reports; it would seem to me that once again administration has wasted taxpayers money .Should the need to control the criminal element in Plainfield justify a major change in the Department and/or the Police Division? .
Council President Mapp did request from the public safety director information as to whether the city is committed for a full year’s assistant is not operating satisfactorily, or if there is a opt out clause for failure satisfactory performance. The public should also have the answer. Moreover, are we committed to follow up years?