Oakland police consider dropping ShotSpotter

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Updated: 3/14 3:47 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police in Oakland want to drop the city's expensive gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter, despite calls from people in high-crime neighborhoods to keep it.

Police spokesman Frank Bonifacio tells the San Francisco Chronicle that the system costs $264,000 a year, money that could be used on to operate a police helicopter.

Bonifacio says ShotSpotter alerts -- sent when a network of microphones picks up a shot -- are often followed quickly by phone calls from the community.

Still, East Oakland officials and residents say the system makes them feel safer.

Noel Gallo, who heads the City Council's Public Safety Committee, said every resident he has spoken to supports ShotSpotter.

But police say a helicopter can respond to trouble more quickly, and use infrared technology to apprehend suspects more easily.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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