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Real-Time Crime Center Serves as Force Multiplier

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: May 2016 Pages: 3-6
Date Published
May 2016
4 pages
This article from TECHBeat describes the Houston (Texas) Police Department's (HPD's) development and use of a real-time crime center (RTCC), which provides access to multiple sources of information in one place to facilitate emergency response and the cost-effective allocation of resources to counter crime.

The HPD was the fourth U.S. law enforcement agency to open an RTCC. Operating since 2008, access to the RTCC is authorized for 22 officers and 10 civilian criminal intelligence analysts. The RTCC can monitor the city's CCTV security surveillance system and can access a number of centralized databases, such as state records of driver's licenses, fugitive information, a CAD system for calls for service, GPS records related to movements of probationers and parolees, license-plate reader data, and public open-source data such as property tax records that can identify who owns a property. An address or license-plate number provided by dispatchers can result in a lot of information, such as places a suspect vehicle has recently or frequently visited. The setup cost of the system was $2.9 million, which was funded by a grant from the state. The HPD responds to inquiries from other law enforcement agencies about the RTCC and advises them on its development, operational procedures, and lessons learned.

Date Published: May 1, 2016