BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET)— It’s been 24 days since the last homicide in Kern County was reported. According to our KGET Homicide Tracker this is the longest streak without a homicide in over four years.
A deeper look into our Homicide Tracker shows that over 35 homicides this year were located in central, south, and east Bakersfield. Most of those homicides were due to gun violence. An on-going problem local authorities have been trying to get a hold on.
“We’re trying to impact and reduce the amount of gun and gang violence in those neighborhoods,” Bakersfield Police Public Information Officer, Nathan McCauley said.
Back in March of last year the BPD received a grant to fund shotspotter technology in efforts to reduce violence in crime-ridden neighborhoods.
“A series of devices that are set up around an area and when they’re gunshots in a certain area they’re able to use the sound and the triangulation of both for multiple devices to be able to calculate very precisely where the shots came from,” McCauley said.
A recent assessment conducted by California State University Bakersfield and BPD reveals that the technology did not reduce gang violence or shootings in neighborhoods with a high crime rate.
“We’d hope for a bigger decrease and a bigger impact in that neighborhood,” McCauley said.
BPD understands the findings from the recent assessment are correct, but it’s hard to tell the impact of shotspotter with only a little over a year of full implementation. Shotspotter is part of the solution to reducing crimes but a collaborative effort with the community is necessary to create a safe environment for all.
“So the people and what goes on there are still our most valuable resources in being able to solve a lot of these crimes,” McCauley said.