Oakland police taking more guns off the street

May 25, 2012 7:39:50 PM PDT
Oakland police showed off on Friday a massive collection of weapons they've taken off the streets in the last year.

Police credit the cooperation of community groups for the gun busts, as well as improvements in technology that helps them track gunshots in the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.

That technology is called ShotSpotter, and thanks to improvements in the system, Oakland officers can now zero in on gunshots in the city right down to an address.

ShotSpotter detects an average 20 gunshots in the city every day so officers have their work cut out for them when it comes to cracking down on gun violence.

Among the weapons police have collected with the help of ShotSpotter is a black, pump-action shot gun fired off in the middle of the day last Saturday.

Police say it was not used in a crime but instead was detected by one of the system's microphones strategically placed in various parts of the city.

Officers were directed to an address by ShotSpotter, where they found the rifle hidden in a wall. The owner was arrested for discharging his firearm in the city.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said the department is sharing its latest efforts to get more guns off the streets in the hopes that citizens will become more comfortable calling 911 when they hear gunshots in their neighborhood.

"We're hoping that the public sees that there is another way for them to get involved, that there's some confidence in the fact that we are taking these gunshot calls seriously," Jordan said.

Mayor Jean Quan said police have made big efforts to curb gun violence in the city by confiscating more than 340 weapons in the last several months.

Quan also cited community efforts to get guns off the streets, such as a gun buyback planned for next Saturday in the Fruitvale District. A coalition led by a group called 100 Women Against Gun Violence is currently raising money for that event.

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