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New tools helping Springfield police track crime in real time

October 16, 2015

Improvements designed to help police respond to crime faster

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield police have some new high-tech tools designed to help them respond to crime faster. The department unveiled its new “Real Time Crime Analysis and Intelligence Center” Friday. The system is the first of its kind in any police department in the Northeast, and includes several major upgrades.

One of the features of their new system allows city surveillance cameras to immediately focus on a specific area once the department’s “ShotSpotter” system is activated. That footage can get to police officers immediately through the laptops in their cruisers.

Another feature of the system allows police to enter the description of a vehicle, and have all vehicles that don’t match that description filtered-out from surveillance footage.

Additional upgrades include improvements to database searches, and radio updates.

William Schwarz, the department’s Director of Crime Analysis, told 22News that the city can only hire so many police officers, so this new system helps them do more with the staffing levels they have.

“What we’re trying to do here is make the most of the resources- every resource we have. Putting the people in the right place at the right time, to either prevent a crime or solve a crime- giving them the information on scene to expedite the clearance of a case, is huge for us,” Schwarz said.

The center will be operating 19 hours a day for the time being, but the department plans to soon have it staffed around the clock.