New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly last week announced the opening of the Real Time Crime Center. The $11 million center, adjacent to the NYPD's Emergency Operations Center in Police Headquarters, will conduct rapid analysis of homicides and shootings citywide beginning Monday, July 18th. The mayor and police commissioner were also joined by Valerie Salambier, chair of the New York City Police Foundation.
"The new Real Time Crime Center is a new and powerful technological resource that will help the NYPD protect New Yorkers better than ever before," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As I announced at the State of the City Address, the Center will use sophisticated information technology to identify and stop emerging crime quickly. It will help police stop spikes in crime before they become trends, and make sure dangerous criminals are caught before they can hurt others."
An online presentation
about the center points out that Compstat -- the successful crime analysis system
pioneered in New York City and which then spread across the country -- analyzes data after the fact, while this new center will provide realtime information to officers and detectives.
"The Center will put valuable information into the hands of detectives even before they leave the squad room, so they can hit the ground running in identifying and apprehending criminals," said Commissioner Kelly.
Approximately two dozen police officers and detectives will use the advanced data mining technology housed in the Center to swiftly provide investigators in the field with information about crime scenes, potential suspects, and other leads to bring criminals to justice as soon as possible. The Center tracks all crime and all responses to it, providing a real-time picture of police resources and their availability throughout the city, making it an important management tool and crime-fighting resource.
The heart of the Real Time Crime Center is a massive data warehouse in which billions of records are within reach of detectives within minutes, instead of days or weeks. These include:
- Over 5 million New York State criminal records, parole and probation files
- Over 20 million New York City criminal complaints, 911/311 calls and summonses spanning five years
- Over 31 million national crime records
- Over 33 billion public records.
The Center also employs satellite imaging and sophisticated mapping of the city precinct-by-precinct. Its Link Analysis Capacity can track suspects to all of their known addresses and point detectives to the locations where they are most likely to flee.
Before the establishment of the Real Time Crime Center, detectives would have limited access to this information and would spend precious hours and days finding it. By contrast, the Center's staff will be able to provide all relevant information to detectives in minutes by phone, e-mail, fax, or pager, in many cases even before they arrive at the crime scene.
The Center began operations on Monday, July 18, and will provide support 24-hours, 7-days a week. Initially, the Center will field questions from commanders and supervisors of detective squads throughout the five boroughs for cases involving homicides and shootings. As the capacity to support these key investigations is measured, an assessment will be made as to expanding the center's response to include other serious crimes.
The $11 million Real Time Crime Center was established mainly with funding from the Mayor's Executive Budget, but also included $1.3 million from the Police Foundation and approximately $1.8 million in federal funds.