08 Nov Real-Time Crime Center to Open in Mesa, Arizona
Technology is about to change the game when it comes to fighting crime in Mesa, Arizona. Last summer, the city of Mesa announced its plans to install a multi-million dollar, high-tech surveillance hub called the Real-Time Public Safety Operations Center (RTPSOC).
In response to President Biden’s June announcement that police departments use COVID-19 relief funds to increase public safety, Mesa plans to use $3.3 million of the $52 million the city received in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) earlier this year. The center will take three to five years to build. The goal is to be fully staffed and 24/7 operational in five years. In the meantime, a temporary surveillance center will be installed in the Mesa court building as early as December this year.
The goal of the RTPSOC is to equip the Mesa police department, first responders and public safety supervisors with a variety of new and evolving surveillance technologies for efficient and effective public safety response. The RTPSOC will be able to gather critical information and intelligence, assess quickly, and disseminate in real-time back to first responders
The first public safety surveillance hub, also called a real-time crime center (RTCC), opened in New York City in 2005 to identify and stop emerging crime. The center featured billions of records that officers could access within minutes rather than days or weeks. More than 1,600 requests for information were processed through the RTCC in its first year, leading to the closure of approximately three-quarters of reported homicides in 2005. Initially, the RTCC focused its efforts only on shootings and homicides but quickly expanded to include all serious crimes.
There are now RTCCs in 29 states, with the highest number in Florida (14) and New York (11).
One of the most defining characteristics of an RTCC is the network of video cameras installed throughout the city that analysts watch on a wall of monitors, often in combination with high-tech automated analytical software. The video feeds can give immediate information like a suspect and/or vehicle description and direction they are traveling to officers.
Real-time crime centers also employ tools like gunfire detection systems, license plate recognition technologies, and predictive policing software that can direct attention to high-crime areas and large-scale public events that may require law enforcement presence or response.
In one study on RTCCs, analysts found that the crime centers in Chicago, IL, were successful in their principal objective of reducing crime. They found crime was reduced by up to 17% in some of the 10 crime categories examined, including shootings and sexual assault.
For those who may be concerned about privacy, the city of Mesa is as concerned about privacy as you are. They will follow federal privacy laws and will not hack into private cameras.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Mesa
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Mesa and are in need of a criminal defense attorney, Todd Coolidge has the experience and record your case needs. Call for your free consultation today at 480-264-5111.
Photo by Joe Gadd on Unsplash (11/8/2021)