Springfield Police unveil $1 million ‘real time’ crime analysis center
October 16, 2015
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Police Department has announced the creation of a new center – $1 million worth of hardware, software and radio system upgrades – that will provide "real time" crime analysis and situational awareness to its officers out in the field.
The Real Time Crime Analysis and Intelligence Center, which is still ramping up, will draw on numerous state and city databases, the city's ShotSpotter audio surveillance system and city and private camera systems to generate crime intelligence as it occurs.
Set up on the second floor of the police station, the center looks like it could monitor a space flight for NASA or assist a Hollywood super hero in his or her crime-fighting lair.
Springfield will be the first city in the Northeast to use such a system, according to the Motorola Solutions, Inc. personnel who gave an overview of its capabilities during a late morning press conference at Police Department Headquarters at 130 Pearl St.
"This is smart policing," said Mayor Domenic Sarno. "It's going to keep our residents safe and our police officers safe as well."
"This allows us to be much more proactive," Commissioner John Barbieri said. The center, he said, should be fully operational by spring 2016.
"It's next generation public safety," said Tom Gross, director of Command Center Solutions for Motorola. "We are doing something we have been doing for the past 20 or 25 years, but we are doing it in real time."
Civilian personnel in the newly expanded Crime Analysis Unit will monitor calls for service and provide analytical support. It will be initially staffed seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., and eventually will be in operation 24 hours a day.
The unit, expanding from two to six civilian personnel, represents about $300,000 a year in salary cost for the department, Barbieri said.
Barbieri said approximately 100 city-owned cameras, from the Springfield Housing Authority, Business Improvement District and School Department, will tie into the system.
"It's next generation public safety." ~ Tom Gross, Motorola Command Center Solutions
William Schwarz, director of the Crime Analysis Unit, said the department will soon begin to seek private entities – stores, businesses and the like – who are willing to tie into the system.
Information on that process will soon be provided on the Springfield Police Department website and via community groups, he said.
Barbieri said the radio upgrades include the ability to split the city into two zones during peak activity periods to allow time for real time updates without interfering with other priority dispatches.
With the ShotSpotter tie-in, cameras in the area where shots are detected will automatically zero in to that location, presenters said. Information from those cameras will be relayed to police immediately.
Jerry Napolitano, principal architect for North American Solutions, walked attendees through the hypothetical armed robbery of a pawn shop during the unveiling.
Those monitoring the system can instantly see the location of the pawnshop on a computerized map, see that it has a participating surveillance camera and see that there are two police cruisers in the immediate area.
Although the initial caller to police reported that the suspects fled in a white SUV, the pawnshop's camera instantly shows it to be a white pickup truck and the responding officers are able to receive that fine-tuned information even before they arrive on the scene.
The software, picking up feeds from other cameras in the city, can utilize various filters to eliminate all other non-involved vehicles in order to rapidly locate suspects.
Napolitano, for example, showing images from a traffic camera, was able filter out all vehicles save for the white ones.
Barbieri said the radio upgrades include the ability to split the city into two zones during peak activity periods to allow time for real time updates without interfering with other priority dispatches.Mass Live