PLP Leader Philip “Brave” Davis.
By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday slammed the government’s investment in the ShotSpotter technology following the mass shooting in Montel Heights on Sunday morning.
At the PLP’s monthly press conference, Mr Davis said the technology was a bad investment.
He said: “Fourteen persons were shot...how did the ShotSpotter programme aid in preventing that horrific event recently in Montel Heights?
“We need as a country to do a better job keeping people safe. It’s just that simple. Here again, we need serious policies and investments, not propaganda. More investments in prevention rather than detection.”
Mr Davis extended prayers to the people wounded in the mass shooting and was thankful none of the injuries were fatal.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families, who must be in great shock over this senseless and horrific violence,” he said.
Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson underscored, earlier this week, that the public should feel safe despite the mass shooting.
When asked if he believed the communities are still safe, Mr Davis said: “I don’t believe the communities are safe.
“I believe that the fear of crime is at an alarming rate and we all fear crime. What I would do is send an appeal to my brothers and sisters who are holding these grudges and having these conflicts to just pause and consider what their acts of violence is doing...not only to themselves but to our country.
“We are killing our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. Sisters and brothers are mourning and weeping, paining over these senseless acts. I’m calling upon them just to lay down (the weapons) and consider what they’re doing not only to themselves but to our country.”
He added: “At the end of the day, we have to live here in a violent and peaceless country. We will not advance and build a kind and gentle nation that we all desire where we can live in peace and harmony with one another. Let us embrace each other with love and let us understand that it’s not the love of power that will carry us anywhere but the power of love that will heal.”
Earlier in the year, the government signed a $1.9m contract with a technology provider, ShotSpotter in an effort for law enforcement agencies to pinpoint the location of gunfire.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and National Security Minister Marvin Dames said the new programme highlighted their commitment to modernising crime fighting tools and equipping agencies with the latest technologies.
Gunshot detection systems work by deploying optical and acoustic wave sensors that detect impulsive noises atop rooftops or utility poles. The sensors locate the origin of gunshots and the information is quickly transmitted to law enforcement agencies.
Mr Dames said, at the time, said he had “completed sufficient research” and is satisfied the technology will help reduce the high gun related violence in The Bahamas.