Increased officer support, improved resources coming from Real Time Crime Center
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Inside the Baton Rouge Police Department’s headquarters, police hope a new resource will help investigators solve cases faster and more efficiently when it opens in the fall.
This isn’t a new idea for the department. Construction on the Real Time Crime Center started in 2018, but it’s shootings like over the weekend that remind leaders how major cases need all hands on deck immediately.
“There’s a response that has to happen, coordination that has to take place. All of that coordination and all of those assets can be assisted and delivered from this room,” said Sgt. Neal Noel with BRPD.
When Baton Rouge police officers are suddenly dispatched to a violent crime, a lot of information about the scene and the potential people involved needs to be gathered fast. Right now, officers get the details they need, but it takes a few phone calls to different departments.
“Now it may only take a minute to do that, but it’s a minute that officer can’t focus on what he’s approaching and what he may be facing,” Sgt. Noel explained.
Crews are constructing the Real Time Crime Center inside BRPD headquarters. Analysts from several law enforcement agencies, including the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office, will be under one roof.
Sgt. Neal noel says if the center was up and running, it could help detectives the minute a crime takes place and possibly up to 24 hours of a preliminary investigation. It could be especially helpful when they’re dealing with shootings back to back.
“Once that call taker understand what that problem or emergency is, they enter into dispatch and that takes a moment. It takes a moment for that information to get to dispatchers. It takes another moment for dispatchers to dispatch the appropriate resources, but meanwhile, as soon as the call taker enters that information into CADD, we will see it here,” Noel said.
On huge televisions inside the center, analysts from additional law enforcement agencies like EBRSO and LSP will have access to a map with shot spotter technology to narrow down the location while monitoring crime cameras to catch any suspects running away. Analysts will also be able to run license plates, check the criminal history of potential suspects, and look up previous incidents for an address, all while officers are on the scene. The goal is to keep officers focused on what’s in front of them.
“All of that information will be available, and it won’t be by request,” Noel said. “It will be a detective or law enforcement officer here who, through their experience, already understands what those guys might need in the field and is already working towards providing them with that information.”
Police say they're just improving the resources they already have to make sure the boots on the ground solve the case. Sgt. Noel says having everyone in the same room helps make information sharing that much more efficient.
“What we hope to accomplish by that is to give officers as much as information as possible, as quickly as possible, so we can have a safer engagement during that call, as well as make more informed decisions,” Noel said.
Leaders of the department say they also hope to establish a camera sharing program with residents and business owners so when crimes happen in their area, they can easily review footage. Additionally, data gathered in the Real Time Crime Center will be reviewed daily by analysts to form better patrol strategies and use manpower more efficiently. Information can also be used for long-term investigations, Sgt. Noel adds.
The Real Time Crime Center is expected to open sometime in the fall.
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