Suffolk Legislator Cilmi calls ShotSpotter a failure, wants refund

BRENTWOOD - Suffolk Legislator Tom Cilmi believes the county’s ShotSpotter system has been a failure and wants a full refund.

Cilmi is drafting legislation that demands ShotSpotter’s maker refund the $800,000 it’s been paid so far for the system. He also wants to cancel all future payments of $340,000 a year.

The legislator is pointing to a police report that identified 93 percent of shots identified by the system as false alarms. The system also missed 18 confirmed gunshots, according to the report.

“The fact is it hasn't generated any arrests and it hasn't saved any lives,” says Cilmi.

Brentwood civic leader Lenny Tucker opposes the legislation. Tucker says the system has been a success in Nassau, where police say it has dramatically cut officer response time to gunfire.

“Let’s work out the kinks and see what happens,” says Tucker.

The ShotSpotter was installed in five Suffolk communities 18 months ago. Suffolk police say they are working closely with ShotSpotter to address problems and improve the system.
 

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