Govt. signs $1.9 million contract to upgrade RBPF’s crime-fighting arsenal

Govt. signs $1.9 million contract to upgrade RBPF’s crime-fighting arsenal
Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis addressing the contract signing ceremony between the Ministry of National Security and ShotSpotter Technology, a US-based company known for its technology in detecting gunshots being fired, almost immediately, in criminal activities. The ceremony was held at the SLS Baha Mar on Wednesday - (BIS Photo/Yontalay Bowe)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A multi-million-dollar contract was signed on Wednesday between government and the American-based ShotSpotter Technology, which is expected to introduce a new era of tech-savvy, crime-fighting arsenal for the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).

The ShotSpotter is expected to zero in on gun-related criminal activity within a matter of seconds; according to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

The $1.9 million contract will be rolled out in phases.

Dames revealed that the first phase has seen the installment of 243 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.

The rollout of phase two will see an additional 508 CCTV cameras brought on stream and 92 ShotSpotter sensors.

Dames noted that the new tools have been acquired to monitor crime hot spots and areas frequented by tourists.

“This ShotSpotter technology will only bolster strategic efforts of the police force to combat gun-related crime and further aid in the reduction of crime in the country,” he said.

The gunshot detection technology uses audio sensors to zero in on an exact area where a gunshot has been fired. CCTV cameras gather footage from the area where the shot was fired and mobile patrol units are dispatched.

The country witnessed a reported 25 per cent decrease in murder in 2018 and Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who was present for the contract signing Wednesday, said government expects the introduction of the gunshot detection technology to yield even greater results in reducing crime this year.

“The contract signing today between the Ministry of National Security and ShotSpotter technology may help to significantly reduce crime and make our homes and streets safer,” he said.

“This advanced technology is expected to aid in further decreasing gun violence and homicides.

“ShotSpotter has the capacity to increase gunfire awareness by 500 per cent.”

ShotSpotter will be completely rolled out by the end of March, the prime minister confirmed.

Dames revealed that the technology will also be introduced on other islands by 2020.

“We’re hoping during the next fiscal period to move into one or two areas in Grand Bahama that are challenging,” Dames revealed.

ShotSpotter’s introduction will be followed by the implementation of body cameras for mobile patrol officers.