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Funding for ShotSpotter restored in the Suffolk County 2017 budget

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After a proposed cut by the county executive, legislators restored funding the the ShotSpotter program that’s used in Bellport, Huntington Station, Amityville, Wyandanch and Brentwood.

The tracking device meant to help police in Bellport pinpoint gunshot locations has cost Suffolk County close to $1.5 million since its implementation in 2011.

Legislator Kate Browning said restoring funding tor ShotSpotter was a priority of hers.

“ShotSpotter is an important tool for the Suffolk County Police Department  in combatting gun crimes, especially in communities where residents are fearful of calling 911,” he said. “Not only does it serve as a deterrent, but it can improve response time to save the life of a shooting victim, and provides better information to police officers who have to respond to a call of shots fired.”

County Executive Steve Bellon’s office had argued that, since Shotspotter’s usefulness has been debated, and its costs therefore not justified as it weighs how best to provide public safety.

The county’s budget for 2017 was approved last week by the Legislature.

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About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com