First phase of Wilmington's Real Time Crime Center now live
The Wilmington’s Real Time Crime Center went live Monday morning during a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking completion of the center’s first phase.
Last year – when the state asked the Wilmington police department what it could do with $1 million dollars – Police Chief Bobby Cummings said the real time crime center was at the top of the list.
It was one of the recommendations from last year’s Public Safety Strategies Commission report, and Cummings says it will help move his department into the 21st century. The center provides officers on the street with real-time updates including dispatch information, data and notes shared between officer shifts, and details about what’s happening in their patrol areas: all linked through a single platform called NC4.
“It gives the ability to push out updates from car to car or from shift to shift. So when an officer would generally come into work and they’re writing notes in their notebook that they put in their pocket and go home with them," Cummings said. "Now they can leave it when they log it on the system - so not only is it there for the officer who initiated it, but for every officer who follows behind or every officer who maybe needs to do some research.”
The project is modeled in part on a system in Camden, New Jersey, but Lieutenant Cecelia Ashe says it’s unique in that it mixes elements of an intel center and a crime analysis center as technology monitors resources.
The state allocated $750,000 to help pay for the first phase of the center, and Cummings says those funds bought more than just the tech.
“We were able to hire a crime analyst who is going to come work with us and really be in a position to tell us what we have with all of this data," Cummings said. "Again, we have data but we really were not in a position to tell a story from the data or put together what we necessarily needed to do.”
Cummings adds the Real Time Crime Center will improve police department supervision of officers on the street.
IMS Technology Services helped design the interactive network of high definition screens in this first phase and IMS Account Manager Bill Kiley says that while the screens currently sync to the police car’s computer systems they can also be adapted to apps on officers’ phones.
"This is future friendly, so anything they’re looking to do this is built to last for a long time," Kiley said.
Phase two of the project involves linking Downtown Visions camera feeds to a video monitoring room at the police department as well as expanding camera coverage in the city. It should begin next January.