ShotSpotter deal hanging as Johnson aims for agreement.

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Article Summary


  • ShotSpotter contract extended for seven months with a two-month transition period.
  • Mayor Johnson initially announced the decommissioning of the gunshot detection system.

In a recent development, the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system in Chicago will continue to be in operation until next fall as the company, SoundThinking, and Mayor Brandon Johnson reached an agreement. Initially, Mayor Johnson announced the planned decommissioning of the ShotSpotter system after the summer, which led to concerns about potential disruption in the critical service. However, these fears were put to rest with the extension announcement that includes a seven-month extension followed by a two-month transition period.

The uncertainty surrounding the technology’s future was heightened by conflicting statements from different parties, with Ald. Chris Taliaferro claiming that ShotSpotter representatives were planning to turn down the extension. Despite this, a contract extension was eventually confirmed by Mayor Johnson’s administration, ensuring that the Chicago Police Department can continue using the technology until September. The aim is to revamp operations and develop new response models to gun violence.

ShotSpotter, which has been the center of controversy and activism due to its association with police responses to gun violence incidents, will now undergo a phased transition period, allowing the police force to adopt alternative emergency response tools. Mayor Johnson’s decision to end the city’s use of ShotSpotter by September was praised by activists but also raised concerns about potential replacements with similar systems.

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