In the MetroSafe building, through a series of hallways, a handful of analysts sit at computers looking at documents and camera feeds. The back wall is covered with dozens of monitors showing scenes throughout Louisville, from cars passing through busy downtown streets to families walking on the Big Four bridge.
The Real Time Crime Center, as the hub is called, was put in place in November 2014 as a public safety initiative to help police respond to crimes more quickly. Louisville Metro Police Department officials and Mayor Greg Fischer invited reporters to see the technology that the center uses to track crimes in real time and to assist officers in investigations.
Analysts monitor feeds from over 200 security cameras while comparing with data from crime reports and social media to communicate information to officers. RTCC Director Jennifer Corum says that the center has provided a variety of tools to officers since it opened.
“Over 11,000 times, the RTCC has assisted officers with intelligence or information that has led to nearly 300 arrests and recovery of over 30 stolen vehicles,” Corum said. “The RTCC has provided snapshots of vehicles and of suspects fleeing the scenes of crimes. We have also alerted officers to the location of stolen vehicles and assisted MetroSafe with locating suicidal subjects for a quicker response.”
LMPD officials also gave more information about ShotSpotter, the department’s most recent addition to its crime fighting strategy. ShotSpotter is a sound-activated gunshot detection system, in which devices around the city send the location of any gunshots to LMPD’s base.
The center put ShotSpotter in place two weeks ago, and Major Josh Juda says that the system has already helped provide more information to officers.
“ShotSpotter has resulted in one arrest with the recovery of a gun,” Major Juda said. “It has assisted our homicide unit with several investigations already.”
Major Juda also said that ShotSpotter offers a new window into violence in some areas that LMPD didn’t have access to before.
“Most of these are incidents we wouldn’t have responded to anyway. The unfortunate reality in too many of our neighborhoods is that gunfire is something that people don’t call us on for a number of reasons,” Major Juda said. “I can tell you from my experience that we would not have responded to 89 shots fired calls in that area.”
During the press conference, Police Chief Steve Conrad said that the center is putting forward a budget request for another supervisor and another analyst.
“I’m proud of the staff that works here; they do a tremendous job,” Chief Conrad said. “We hope to continue to grow the center over time.”