Birmingham Police recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Real-Time Crime Centre, which Commissioner Scott Thurmond said had not only helped solve many crime problems, but more technology was being developed.
“If we make progress, we have to use technology to tackle crime,” Thurmond said Monday. “Criminals use it, so we have to be one step ahead. We were successful in our first year.”
The $3 million center was unveiled in October. On January 19, 2021, all-seeing field technology is available in a hub on the fourth floor of the police headquarters.
The center uses real-time technology and data-driven intelligence to increase crime prevention, apprehension and resolution.
The state-of-the-art facility is modeled on best practices elsewhere, such as Chicago, Detroit and New York City—all centers visited by Birmingham officials.
When the center opened, police touted the technology, which included automatic license plate readers — high-speed, computer-controlled camera systems often mounted on poles, street lights, highway overpasses, mobile trailers or attached to police cars. ALPR captures all license plate numbers that come into view, along with location, date and time.
The data includes photos of the vehicle and sometimes the driver and passengers, which are then uploaded to a central server.
Readers help with every level of crime, from stolen vehicles to tracking down violent suspects.
Another feature when the center opens is new body camera technology, which allows crime center staff to turn body-worn cameras on and off remotely.
Thurmond said the investment was a smart one.
detection. On Monday, Ronald Davenport spoke about the 2021 Gate City homicide, with video from the centre capturing a man firing a hailstone in Gate City that killed 24-year-old Roderick Tavarre Roderick Tavares Chester Jr.. A young child was also injured by glass and shrapnel.
Within minutes, the center was able to provide detectives with possible witnesses, including the vehicle that was in motion when the suspect fired the AR-15, Davenport said. The center also used video cameras to capture the images, which were later distributed to the public.
All of this culminated in a death penalty murder charge against the suspect.
Without the center, Davenport said, detectives might have found the suspect, but said it would take longer.
“The sooner we get that person off the street and get that gun out of the public’s hands, that’s a win for us and a win for the community,” Thurmond said.
detection. Ben Jackson said the center also provided invaluable assistance in addressing property crime.
Just recently, Jackson said, there have been burglaries at businesses across the city.
“Most of these businesses have video,” Jackson said.
The videos were submitted to the center, which was able to provide investigators with the information they needed to obtain warrants for more than a dozen felony arrests.
“We’ve been able to solve the case and get justice,” Thurmond said.
As the center continues to grow, Thurmond said he is excited about the new technology that will be added.
In the near future, the public will be able to register their home and/or business surveillance cameras into the Live Crime Center’s system, the chief said. The new software will allow those cameras to come into the center.
“We’re not going to sit there and monitor their homes, but if there’s a crime happening on their street, we’re definitely going to have the live crime center review it to see if it can give us clues to help solve the crime,” Thurmond said. Say.
Another new feature will be Axon’s Fleet 3. Cameras mounted on police cars will provide panoramic footage instead of what they do now – which is recorded in the direction the camera is facing.
“This will provide additional footage that we can leverage,” Thurmond said.
Another upcoming feature is Axon Capture, a software program that allows the public to send police videos and photos relevant to criminal investigations.
“If we continue to build this, we’re figuring out which technology works best,” Thurmond said.
“We want to be the panacea for the community,” he said. “Real-time crime hubs are key to our solution and prevention of crime. They have the technology to connect the dots.”