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School shootings: a growing trend in the United States

It used to be unnerving to hear about them in the news, lately it isn’t anything new. Since 2013 there have been 205 school shootings in the United States, a number that is rapidly raising as years pass.

ShotSpotter, a gun locating technology, is gradually being introduced to the San Diego area and SDPD has made moves to implement it into San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). At the university level, however, officials have opted out of moving forward with the technology.

Kaz Trypuc, supervisor at Public Safety on PLNU’s campus, noted how interesting the technology was, but stated that the campus is looking to improve on already existing technology.

The technology is really intriguing and I’ll be interested to see how it continues to prove itself in communities across the US. However, we are not planning on acquiring this technology any time soon. While we’re committed to improving our emergency response capabilities, we have to use our available resources wisely,” said Trypuc.

According to PLNU’s crime index, there have been 11 incidents where an assault with a deadly weapon, concealed weapon, or robbery with a weapon has occurred in the Point Loma area since 2014.

ShotSpotter is a unique technology, as it functions by the assimilation of 15-20 sensors per square mile. The large amount of sensors in such a small area assures accurate reports of a gunshot. Each sensor notes the time, place and records an audio snippet associated with loud sounds that closely resemble a gunshot. That report immediately alerts the local police who are able to respond much quicker. In a recent survey, ShotSpotter found that the median reduction of gun crime in a particular area was 12.8%.

Jacquelynn Morganson, University of San Diego’s Executive Assistant for Public Safety, stated that ShotSpotter had recently been in contact with them, but actions following through with the company will not be taken.

“We are in between chiefs, with no plan of using this technology until after the fiscal year. [In] December or January a new chief will hopefully be named and the technology can be up for discussion, but it is just a matter of having a leader make that executive decision.”

Only three areas other than the SDUSD have decided to move forward with this technology. Those being Encanto, Skyline and Paradise Hills. These three locations were described by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) as high-crime areas. SANDAG was also reported stating that in these areas more than 140 gangs exist, and public safety was having a hard time dealing with the rise in crime stimulated by these gangs.

San Diego State University failed to comment.

ShotSpotter is a technology that can alert local police immediately, locate the place in which gun fire occurred and even record the gunfire. In a country where gunfire and school shootings is a growing problem, no local college campus is taking advantage of this technology.

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Ariel Oriarte

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