Community group wants to change St. Paul mayor's position on ShotSpotter technology

Updated: November 20, 2019 10:13 PM

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter wants an additional $1.6 million in city funds to help fight rising gun violence and crime. But he is standing firm in his opposition to spend more money to purchase and implement ShotSpotter technology.

Mayor Carter wanted to spend $173 million on Public Safety in 2020 in his original budget proposal, but after a historic spike in fatal shootings he proposed a supplemental public safety budget to the St. Paul City Council asking for $1.6 million in city money.


The mayor said he was moving forward, without any money for ShotSpotter technology, because he wanted a comprehensive plan which includes items such as youth employment, outreach programs and mental health initiatives.

St. Paul mayor proposes over $1M in public safety investments

"We are advancing proven solutions that can be verified through independent, third-party, empirical evaluations," said Carter. "That's the red line that we've drawn and that's the direction we're going in St. Paul."

Tyrone Terrell, a member of the African-American Leadership Council, told KSTP his group will meet with Carter soon in hopes of convincing him to change his mind on ShotSpotter.

"We like the community-based initiatives and we think the mayor is right on those and we need them," said Terrell.  "But, we also need things like ShotSpotter which gives us one more tool to help fight crime and get people off the streets who are firing these guns."

Emails show St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter says 'no' to ShotSpotter technology

ShotSpotter is computer software technology which sends precise locations of gunshots to the phones of police officers immediately allowing them to respond to shootings within 30 seconds rather than two, or three, minutes from a radio dispatch.

The St. Paul City Council will take a final vote on the 2020 budget before the end of December.

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Jay Kolls

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