Detroit Action Responds to ShotSpotter Expansion, Vows to Continue Fight for Violent Prevention Programs

Detroit Action
2 min readOct 11, 2022

(DETROIT) — Statement from Branden Snyder, Co-Executive Director of Detroit Action

“The Detroit City Council’s decision to expand ShotSpotter with millions of our taxpayer dollars is a slap in the face to thousands of Detroit residents teetering on the precipice of homelessness, economic instability, and joblessness. ShotSpotter does not prevent guns from going off — it is only activated in response to suspected violence, and even then fails to lead to any evidence of a gun incident more than 90% of the time. To add insult to injury, the language of the DPD-funded contract would also expand the period through June of 2026 instead of December 2024. While communities of color continue to be underserved, overlooked, and overpoliced, the Council has decided that spending millions of dollars on police surveillance over four years is more important than funding services and tools that are proven to help our communities thrive.

As illustrated at today’s public hearing and the past few meetings on ShotSpotter, a majority of people are not asking for more surveillance in the form of hidden microphones or more racist policing. Instead, they’ve asked for violence prevention services, youth programs, jobs, renter protections, affordable housing, mental healthcare, and COVID relief from the pandemic, not unreliable tech.

Current policing practices in Detroit are already a threat to Black and brown communities. City Council had an opportunity to transform our system, and move away from practices that perpetuate cycles of inter-community harm. Invasive and unreliable surveillance tools further enable state-sanctioned violence against low-income communities of color. We are way past the point of reform. The only way forward is to divert funding from our police departments and reallocate those funds into police alternative programs and services that actually keep us safe.

We’re calling on the Mayor and Council to offset their rash, harmful decisions by reinvesting in solutions to homelessness, recognizing and addressing root causes of violence, preserving and producing deeply affordable housing, increasing vital city services, and supporting arts and culture. The dedication to help our communities thrive is what will keep us safe, not microphones and surveillance.”

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Detroit Action

Detroit Action is a membership based organization that fights for economic and social justice for working class Detroiters. A little union for the hood.