From Database to Crime Scene: Network Is Potent Police Weapon
A New York Police Department anti-crime computer network located at One Police Plaza in New York City can rapidly send information to officers on the beat.
Groups of detectives in the room, which the police department refers to as the Real Time Crime Center, look at computer screens and study cases on a 15-ft.-high video screen that can show maps, diagrams, satellite pictures, and surveillance camera images.
Some of the information the center makes available is typical police investigative material, such as criminal complaints, the criminal background of a suspect, and previous home addresses.
In addition, the center provides the names of individuals who have visited a criminal in city prisons and state facilities, aliases, recordings of every 911 calls placed from any address in New York City over the past decade, and the nicknames of known criminals.
Law-enforcement experts state the two-year-old crime center is the police department’s most crucial technological measure in 15 years.
In April 2007, a suspect who tortured a female student at Columbia University for nearly a day was arrested five days later when the network linked his nickname to him.
Police authorities claim the center’s databases possess law-enforcement records going back 15 years, which will be expanded to 25 years by autumn.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the New York Times (06/07/07); P. B1; Lueck, Thomas J.