City Council greenlights measures to combat gun violence
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – City Council gave the thumbs up on several measures to combat the uptick in gun violence the city has seen in recent weeks using American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
Those measures include $88,000 for police retention, $40,000 for a law enforcement surveillance trailer, equipped with HD cameras and 24/7 recording capabilities, and $188,358 to purchase a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network machine, or NIBIN machine, which allows law enforcement officers to automatically share ballistic evidence across all law enforcement networks.
Alderpersons, however, stopped short of approving the most costly expenditure – $655,000 for a gunshot detection system able to pinpoint precise locations of gunfire – until more detailed information is gathered.
“I definitely think it is prudent to go with the RFP first,” District 8 Alderperson Chris Wery said. “We need to know the actual annual cost. That is kind of the hidden part here. We don’t want to sign a blank check for future years and create a budget hole when we don’t even know what it’s going to be.”
His concern was shared by others.
“I’m not wild about spending $700,000 as a deterrent,” Bill Galvin, District 4 alderperson and former Green Bay Police officer, said.
Other members of the council were in support of Davis’ recommendation.
“We asked our police department (and) our police chief to come up with some ideas that would help, and he did,” District 1 Alderperson Barbara Dorff said. “Listening to the presentation at the Finance (Committee), I was very much in support of all of the ideas he came up with. I know we are just kind of kicking it down the road a little bit with the RFP idea, however, I wanted to make it very clear I am very supportive of what Chief Davis has proposed… And I appreciate him responding to us after we asked him what he felt that the police department could use to reduce violence.”
Shotspotter, Shooter Detection Systems, AmberBox and Flock Safety are among the top gunshot detection systems used by police departments throughout the country.
Davis has not announced which he prefers, but said the department would recommend the one that would work best for Green Bay.
He said in 2021 alone, more than 80 cases of shots fired were reported.