Wiregrass Daily News Logo

Dothan Enhances Efforts to Combat Gun Violence with Cutting-Edge Technology

New Tools and Techniques Aim to Create a Safer Community

DOTHAN, AL (WDNews) – Combating gun violence is at the forefront of concerns for Dothan residents, with random shootings occurring more frequently. To better inform the community, WDNews sat down with Lt. Scott Owens of the Dothan Police Department to discuss the latest advancements in law enforcement technology.

For the past three years, the Dothan Police Department has been utilizing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). This system allows firearms examiners to enter images of bullet casings into a database, which then matches them with other casings from local, regional, and national investigations. “It’s a crucial step in solving shooting cases,” said Lt. Owens.

Additionally, for the last two years, Dothan law enforcement has been utilizing Flock Cameras, advanced license plate readers (LPR) that connect to a network of cameras. These cameras help track stolen vehicles and those involved in shootings, providing a significant resource for investigations. This means, if your license plate is in the system involving a crime, the Flock camera can detect that and notify dispatchers. This is a crucial part of identifying where a criminal is.

The latest technological advancement coming to Dothan is ShotSpotter. This system will be installed in strategic locations around the city to detect and pinpoint the location of gunshots instantly. It has the ability to read decimals, to pick up vibrations and narrow down an exact location.

“We will know the time of the gunshot, not just the time of the 911 call,” explained Lt. Owens. “This could be the difference between life and death or catching a shooter while still in the area.”

The additional 5 to 10 minute advantage will be dire to Law Enforcement.

Lt. Owens commended Chief Benny for his commitment for integrating new technology to enhance public safety. With the implementation of ShotSpotter within the next year, Dothan aims to become a safer city, providing law enforcement with the tools needed to combat gun violence and random shootings effectively along with multiple other types of crime within the city.