There is a new approach to crime reduction being implemented by the Ogden Police Department. It is patterned after the real time crime centers of a few major city police departments that started about five years ago but is scaled to the size of Ogden's needs and will fulfill an ancillary role of emergency operation capability for all of Ogden's public safety and public works needs with trained technicians in the event of a natural disaster or need to activate the emergency operations center.
There are about nine real time crime centers across the United States; Ogden has patterned its center after the Memphis model. Memphis has seen a crime reduction every year since its RTCC implementation primarily through the use of the 70 license plate reading traffic cars it has put into service. Ogden will use part of this approach and has purchased one such vehicle. What original LPR cars did, for the last 10 years, was simply read the plate and let the officer know if the plates were expired or the vehicle was wanted for any reason.
Memphis, through the use of innovative data collection has expanded that capability to include any outstanding warrants for arrest and also hooked the data to include driver license issues, like revocation and suspension. So now ,Ogden's LPR car will help in the service of outstanding warrants that traditionally got served when an officer stopped a car for another issue. This is significant when there are more than 7,500 outstanding warrants on the books on any given day representing about $14 million in uncollected fines.
Main bullet missions of RTCC:
* Monitoring incoming calls for service
* Reviewing incoming tips, leads and suspicious activity reports
* Reviewing "citizen engagement" information (iOgden, etc.)
* Reviewing previously reported part one crimes
* Preparing briefing notes
* Developing proactive policing strategies based on actionable information
* Preparing Compstat and other crime analysis products
There are four significant reasons for the implementation of this center:
1. We will have an ability to begin working on a significant priority 1 or priority 2 call as it comes to the dispatcher, before an officer has even been dispatched, by a law enforcement officer who understands the type of call but who also has computer skills to look for what the responding officer is going to want to have. This RTCC officer will then send the information to the officer as the officer is responding via the officer's in car computer. Information like who may be at the residence, people who have associations with parolees, drug dealers, gang members, or have an outstanding warrant.
2. It will be an enhanced officer safety component for the officer. Many times the responding uniformed officer has less than a year's experience. The RTCC is going to now give that officer access to a seasoned officer with access to information necessary to help solve the crime quicker and thereby reduce the time to make an arrest and get a suspect into the judicial process through incarceration. This has been a key issue in crime reduction in Memphis.
3. It will have situational awareness and incident command capabilities. The center is capable of many enhanced uses of maps and their ability to give intelligence to those who need it quickly. Ogden is working with the largest mapping company in the world, Esri, and their business partners to bring this into the center. Any incident can be managed from the center and communicated to those with a need to know, wherever they are away from the center, as long as they have a basic smart phone or similar device in their possession through the use of an operational platform. This operational platform/main viewer on the wall for the RTCC personnel can bring up things like the location of public safety vehicles, where a plume may go in the event of a natural disaster, the residence of people of interest, camera feeds of certain locations, recent criminal incidents so that geographical profiling can happen with predictive crime analysis software. Hopefully, as the center gets more robust the addition of an aerial blimps capability will be added.
4. It will create proactive enforcement of developing situations. Instead of an officer asking for research by the dispatcher, the officer will now be given the information and ancillary information while they are on a call. People in violation of a warrant, a gang injunction, a good landlord rental issue, or people of interest in other investigations by other elements of the police department or other city department, are just a few of those goals of the center. The center will also being doing investigative work for detectives and looking at old cold cases to try and solve.
Greiner is Ogden's police chief.