GPD Takes Aim at Gun Crimes and Traffic Accidents

Published on January 19, 2023

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Gainesville City Commission is taking aim at two of the community’s biggest safety concerns with a pair of motions approved at today’s meeting. By passing both items, commissioners will bring to the Gainesville Police Department a new high-tech tool for solving gun crimes while also accepting Florida Department of Transportation funding that uses officer education to improve the safety of our roads, streets and crosswalks.

The first item is a piece of equipment called the Brasstrax Acquisition Station. Paid for with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Brasstrax is a $144,853 search engine that investigators can use to match spent shell casings collected at local crime scenes with finely detailed images of casings from other jurisdictions. The funding for this piece of technology is part of the city’s One Community Initiative, which also includes support for Community Oriented Policing ($240,000), Community Education Efforts ($41,350) and a Public Safety Coordinator ($68,633).

The second motion touches on the safety of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on the city’s roads. Commissioners approved the acceptance of three grants from the Florida Department of Transportation. These will pay for officer education programs and projects designed to reduce crashes and crash-related fatalities in the City of Gainesville. The three together total $170,500, with special focus on motorcycle and scooter safety, preventing accidents by distracted drivers, and general traffic safety.

Patrol Support Captain Anthony M. Ferrara says of this training opportunity, “We look forward to sharing the benefit of this grant allocation with our neighbors through education and prevention. Vision Zero is a goal that is possible to reach if we all work together. That means drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. We all have a role to play. Be cognizant of your surroundings, avoid unnecessary distractions, and increase your patience with others on the road. The life you save may be your own.”