Allentown seeks state funding for de-escalation training in gunshot detection technology Lehigh Valley area news

Allentown, Pa. – The Allentown City Council voted Wednesday to approve a $10 million application for gun violence and prosecution grants from the state’s Crime and Crime Commission.

If it’s a successful recipient, the police department will be able to increase patrols and purchase gunshot detection technology to help with response times and investigations of ongoing crime in the city.

Police Chief Charles Roca called the grant an “incredible opportunity,” explaining that the Pennsylvania Crime and Crime Commission was funded by federal COVID-19 relief funds provided by the state.

“One of the things that President Biden talked about in his June 2021 speech about funding local police agencies and state troopers to develop gunshot detection technology systems,” Rocca said.

“It uses listening devices to hear and listen to the gunshots being filmed, and then sends the signal or data to the police in real time,” he explained. “The technology doesn’t require someone to make a phone call, it sends the data to the police to make an analysis of the location. By triangulating, police can have faster and more efficient response times.”

“By linking it to certain camera technologies, we can identify individuals involved in this type of violence faster,” Rocca said, “and it will help us not just because they are in the area.” “

Rocca said he saw a demonstration of the technology in Pittsburgh and called it “absolutely stunning.”

Council members said they were very much in favour of using the technology for police work.

Assemblyman Daryl L. Hendricks said he was impressed that the grant did not require a local match.

In addition, the City Council approved a second grant application for $10 million to the State Crime and Crime Commission.

The Local Law Enforcement Support Grant will allow funds to be used to train officers in the national incident-based reporting system, to replace 150 street surveillance cameras, to provide new technology enhancements to police vehicles, as well as training for crisis intervention, de-escalation and implicit bias training.

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