Weeks after ShotSpotter sensors were installed, Omaha police are seeing arrests attributable to the new technology, including a known gang member with a felony record.
Jestun R. Haynie, a 20-year-old 40th Avenue Crip gang member, was arrested partly because of the new technology, police said.
Last month police announced the installation of ShotSpotter, which is funded by a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Police placed sensors in areas that their data show have a history of violent activity. The sensors detect gunfire and report the location to officers.
The system will provide more evidence of gun-related crimes, police believe, possibly leading to increased arrests and prosecutions.
Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman, said police are excited about the preliminary results they've seen.
"We've been able to respond to the area quicker because we have a more defined location to look at rather than just a general location to where people have heard shots," Tierney said.
Police have even responded to shooting incidents that were never called in by citizens but were detected by ShotSpotter, she said.
Haynie was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person after six gunshots fired Sunday near 30th Street and Sorensen Parkway registered on a sensor.
Police found a Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun in the coat pocket of Haynie, who was being held on $100,000 bail.
In 2009 he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to seven months in jail.
Haynie was critically injured in a drive-by shooting in 2010 that prosecutors said was related to an ongoing gang dispute. He was one of four 40th Avenue gang members shot in a six-week period; three of them died.
Besides Haynie's arrest, Tierney said, police also recently utilized ShotSpotter in a drug arrest.
In that case, police responded to a home where shots were fired and found weapons and drugs inside.
Tierney said that while officials were still evaluating the system, they were pleased with the results so far.
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