Bradenton, Florida -- Bradenton Police hope city leaders and businesses will help support a new crime fighting tool to reduce gun violence in the city's high crime area.
"Just the other night we heard 7-8 shots. It stopped for 30 minutes and started up again."
Gun shots are the sound Pamela Cash fears every night living in this southeast corner of Bradenton after losing her 15-year-old son to gun violence.
Just before 9 o'clock on the night of Feb. 20, Dakota Smith was walking home along 13th Ave. East when he son was gunned down -- shot in the head. A memorial made up of a wooden cross, flowers and an Easter basket now stands where Dakota's body was found.
"I look for him to come through the door, but I know he's not. Asking God to bring justice for my son," says Cash.
Part of that justice is sparing another family the same pain.
"All homicides the last three years have been in this area." Lt J.A. Racky points to a map and the area between Ware's Creek on the west, Bradenton River on the east side and the southern city limits.
Racky says the city has had 12 homicides, more than 60 gun-related crimes, and more than 270 gun-related calls to dispatch in three years from this targeted area.
"Eighty percent of all gun-related crimes in the city are in this 4-mile radius. We are going where the problem is," he says.
Bradenton Police are proposing adding about 15 sensors every square mile that detect and report gunfire using a tool called Shot Spotter.
"We're going to pinpoint gun shots down to several meters," Racky says.
Video from Shot Spotter Technology shows how it works. Technicians receive an alert of gunfire. The technicians are trained to tell the difference between a gunshot, fireworks or car backfiring. GPS sensors then triangulate where the shots originated and technicians call police dispatch to send out officers.
WATCH a demonstration video here: http://vimeo.com/59621524.
Racky says the sensors will help improve response time.
"I there's a victim of a gunshot, we can get there quicker. If there's a suspect on scene should be able to catch him."
Racky says with many cases, including Dakota's, the community appears to be too scared to help police.The quicker response, says Racky, also gives officers a chance to interview witnesses on scene.
"That's the sad part. We don't' get calls, or leads, even though somebody out there knows."
An expert with Shot Spotter Technology will make a presentation to Bradenton City Council at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The public is invited to attend.
Racky estimates the technology would cost between $200,000 and $270,000.
Pamela keeps a bit of her son's ashes in a silver heart locket she wears around her neck praying for the day his murderer is found. In the meantime, she keeps her 13-year-old son indoors at night, to protect him from the gun violence.
"I can't lose another one," she says.
says losing Dakota is a pain that never goes away, a pain she wants to spare other families. She says the Shot Spotter Technology may help deter crime and save a life.
"It might help save someone else's life or family member. It could help make a difference."