ShotSpotter to Debut in Durham: Residents of McDougald Terrace, NCCU Share Their Thoughts on Crime, ShotSpotter Ahead of September Debut


DURHAM, NC (WTVD) — She lives in constant fear. This is the sad reality of Ashley Canady living in McDougald Terrace. Canady has been raising her four children there for 13 years. She says the constant gun violence takes its toll on the family, including her young children.

“I have a child with PTSD. I have a 6-year-old daughter who doesn’t like fireworks anymore because she thinks they’re gunshots,” Canady said. “I’ve always feared losing one of my children to gun violence. They’ve seen too much. Will they be hit by a bullet? I try not to lose them in the street.”

McDougald Terrace is one of many communities expected to deploy ShotSpotter sensors in the coming weeks. Central North Carolina University is another investing in campus safety and advocating for more. According to the Chancellor, once the technology is activated, campus police will work with Durham Police to respond to sensors.

“The ShotSpotter would be another added level of security around campus in the area or city streets that we don’t control,” said NCCU Chancellor Johnson Akinleye.

The move makes Bull City the sixth city in the state to implement ShotSpotter. The planned go-live date for the ShotSpotter technology pilot is September 15, 2022. City leaders are confident about this technology as they say it is about changing the narrative.

“Less than two miles from the center of our town, it’s a different story. The kids have just come to terms with the idea that gunfire every night is part of the neighborhood. To me, that’s immoral and “Unacceptable. If there’s anything we can do as government as elected officials, it’s a moral obligation,” said Mayor of Durham Pro-Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton.

Durham Police say the sensors are not yet in place. It is likely that they will be attached to poles and the tops of buildings.

Residents like Canady are willing to give it a try because their children’s lives could depend on it.

“Often community members are afraid to call the police because they don’t want to be found and people show up at their door. So from what I hear, when gunshots sound, it will automatically send an officer. So, we’ll see,” she said.

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