BRPD officials foresee opening of Real Time Crime Center in next few months despite delays
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Sixty-nine people were murdered in Baton Rouge in 2019, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department. That’s an improvement compared to 78 murders in 2018.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve seen about a 20% reduction in homicides and violent crimes,” said BRPD Deputy Chief Jonny Dunnam.
Leaders of the department say they have intensified patrolling, and the hope is the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) will reduce that number even more.
BRPD officials say they have hit a few bumps in the road when it comes to construction, but they foresee the RTCC opening in the next few months.
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Despite delays, some progress has been made. TV screens with live feeds to cameras throughout the city are rolling. It’s important to remember this is a crime center for the entire parish, meaning representatives from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the LSU Police Department, the Southern University Police Department, and the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office will all have access to this technology.
Red squares on monitors in certain areas around the city predict where crimes could take place over the new few hours or days. Dunnam says fresh technology should help to keep crime stats low.
“We try to direct those officers into those specific areas just to sit, get out of the car, talk to the public. That is going to deter someone that is in that area, maybe think about potentially committing a crime from doing it,” Dunnam said.
Dunnam says the RTCC is the future of crime-fighting.
“Obviously, it helps us leverage any manpower shortages we have," he said.
Live feeds display different areas of town at the same time to law enforcement in the RTCC. That’s the idea behind a pilot program using cameras at every entrance of the Sherwood Forest neighborhood. Cameras will allow BRPD to see every move.
“When it sees movement in an area that probably shouldn’t have movement, it will notify the Real Time Crime Center," Dunnam said.
Dunnam says officers will be dispatched to check things out. Even if the criminal gets away, license plate readers at the entrances of the neighborhood will give officers a leg up on the search.
“Having that artificial intelligence technology to let our techs know when that movement is coming in will be beneficial,” the deputy chief added.
Deputy Chief Dunnam says the city should continue to have a dip in murders with the improved technology in the works and more officer involvement.
BRPD says there are around 34 crime prevention districts across the city. The hope is to partner with them all so law enforcement can widen its reach.
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