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City Council Vote on Shotspotter

The Chicago City Council voted 34-14 to keep Shotspotter after the Mayor decided to end ShotSpotter. After the vote, Mayor Johnson stated that the vote “did nothing” and “this City Council and legislative body does not have executive authority.” The City Council votes to determine what that mayoral power entails.

Power rests with the legislative body unless clearly granted to the executive by statutes or ordinances that legislative bodies of municipalities create. That is made clear through part of the “corporate authorities” under Illinois State law, and there is no strict separation of powers at the municipal level. The Council voted by ordinance to grant the Superintendent of Police the authority to place Shotspotter and Police Pods around the City and the Council can also amend or direct action on this authority. 

I voted to keep the Shotspotter technology for its effectiveness in helping the police pinpoint gunfire to a specific address and help police locate shooting victims more quickly. While cameras and this tool do not make arrests like officers do, they are helpful tools to assist the department and should be utilized until better tools are available. Both the former CPD Superintendent and Superintendent Snelling said they need the technology as well as officials preparing for the August DNC event. 

Many of my colleagues demanded that the City keep the contract open and use the tool in their neighborhoods, so their voices must be heard as well. Pro-ShotSpotter order passes City Council in a landslide. Why don’t North Side aldermen want South Siders to have it? In this case, the Council exercised its authority as a legislative body and the outcome is to keep Shotspotter operating to assist CPD.


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