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The violence that took the lives of a 2-year-old toddler and his uncle in a shooting incident last Valentine’s Day confronted the city of Chicago, its law enforcement officers and the public about the escalation of gun-related deaths and injuries.
While a large voice is asking for stricter implementation of gun-control laws including a deeper look at the social roots that trigger acts of violence, others are looking to technology as a more immediate, effective solution to reduce the crime wave and its casualties. Early detection of concealed weapons could be one key to saving lives and preventing future shooting incidents, as politicians and the people work together towards long-term solutions.
As reported by The Washington Post, the impact of the Valentine’s Day incident was made harder by the loss of life of an innocent 2-year-old, Lavontay White, Jr. The boy was killed by a bullet to his head while riding in a red sedan with his uncle, who also died from the gunfire. The toddler’s aunt was using her Facebook Live while riding in the car and unintentionally captured the entire incident while she managed to escape, though wounded. The live images brought home to everyone’s living room that the shoot-em-up culture in Chicago was real and could happen to anyone in any city.
The Chicago Tribune has pointed out that gun violence has been escalating. Official police statistics showed a 57% increase in gun-related incidents in 2016: 754 deaths were caused by bullet fire, intentional or accidental, last year compared to 480 in 2015. Chicago Tonight adds that another 4,300 were wounded in 2016. It further reports that a group of concerned citizens has banded together to form the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative (CGVRC). About 90 educators, social workers and community leaders will study hard evidence on why the shooting culture is rising, as well as the effective means to stop it.
Poverty, the absence of job opportunities and a sense of disenfranchisement could be factors that are spurring certain groups of people to resort to a life of crime or gang membership. Creating platforms to solve these issues might lessen the waves of violence in the long term. However, the individuals and families who live in Chicago might welcome a quicker deterrent. Early detection technology that can prevent an incident even before it happens, and thus save dozens of lives, might be the answer.
A MarketWired article indicates that one cue could be taken from Orlando, Florida. Business leaders in the city have adopted the installation of a cutting-edge detection device called the NForce CMR1000 to prevent another shootout similar to the one inflicted by a lone gunman at a nightclub a year ago. An entertainment management firm, VGroup Concepts, has partnered with the device’s makers, Patriot One Technologies Inc. (OTCMKTS: PTOTF, TSX.V: PAT, FRA: OPL), to make entertainment districts of their city safer and decrease crime.
The NForce CMR1000 can be installed discreetly at choke points frequently packed by crowds, such as nightclubs, schools, places of worship, transportation hubs and recreation centers. Its technology sweeps the area with radar waves that can spot a concealed weapon such as a gun or a knife. Once the radar system has verified the weapon, the NForce CMR1000 will notify authorities. Police can quietly but swiftly act on the gun-toting individual before a threat can emerge.
Many of the deaths and injuries that have occurred in Chicago happened in broad daylight. Bullets have been fired into playgrounds, grocery stores and malls, presumably by gang members or individuals carrying unlawful weapons.
Law enforcement and civic groups like the CGVRC can also use the data that the NForce CMR1000 gathers to assist their study. They can uncover patterns such as the districts where the most violence takes place, the kind of weaponry often used and the establishments that the perpetrators usually infiltrate.
According to The New York Times, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is pushing for a “culture of accountability” to protect the children and make them safe as they go about their daily lives in the city. The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a statement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are in talks to bring back “proactive community policing” in the city. Proactive and accountable behavior both have their first step in early detection and intervention. More than worth a pound of cure, they can go a long way in reducing the violence as well as saving lives.
Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on August 27, 2017:
It's really sad and frustrating the ongoing gun violence in Chicago.