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Gunshot detection system being installed in Jacksonville

Gunshot detection sensors are now being installed in Jacksonville neighborhoods.

The sensors are part of the ShotSpotter system, which city leaders say will help address gun violence.

The sensors can be placed on buildings and on the top of utility poles.

The network of sensors will capture gunshot information and that can then be sent to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

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The sensors are catching the eye of some Jacksonville neighbors.

"I was surprised, man," neighbor Jemelle said.

"I thought it was cameras," neighbor Tonia said.

It's not a camera but actually a sensor for ShotSpotter - a gunshot detection system.

"I think that's awesome. It's something that we need to have," Tonia said.

ShotSpotter sensors are now being installed in Jacksonville neighborhoods. This is how the system works: The sensor will pick up the sound of gunfire. It will then pinpoint how many shots and where to within about 80 feet. Then in about 30 to 45 seconds, that information is sent to police.

"As long as I've been in this city, this neighborhood has pretty much been riddled with gun violence. I'm glad to see them trying to do something about it," Jemelle said.

During a recent presentation to City Council members, JSO showed the 5-mile area where the sensors are going, which covers neighborhoods west of Interstate 95 and north of Kings Road. They say between 2014 and 2016, 10 percent of firearms-related calls and 13 percent of homicides involving firearms happened in that area.

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"I'm all for it. I just hope it stops some of the killing in the area," Jemelle said.

"Everything is senseless and they're not caring about life. So if you can catch something real, real fast then that's awesome," Tonia said.

After the sensors are installed ShotSpotter will come and train JSO officers. They hope to have the system operational by the end of July. JSO said if the system is successful at reducing gun violence and solving crimes then it could potentially be expanded to other areas in Jacksonville.

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