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NYPD Unveils High-Tech Real Time Crime Center At Police Headquarters

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The NYPD has added another high-tech tool to its crime fighting arsenal. NY1’s Solana Pyne filed this report.

It looks like something out of a comic book, but the NYPD's new Real Time Crime Center is home to search engines, not superheroes. It will work at lightning speed, using a host of cutting edge technology.

According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, analysts will access information that, “before it might take detectives hours, days or weeks to obtain on their own. Now we can send them critical details before they even arrive on the scene.”

Those details include 911 and 311 call logs, information about arrests for similar crimes, crime patterns, and more.

“With real time crime mapping, we can provide them with aerial photos of the crime scene, accompanied by an overlay of every criminal complaint and arrest in the vicinity,” Kelly said Thursday.

The $11 million center has taken information that used to be kept on paper, and at individual precincts, and combined them in a searchable database.

“This does not replace police officers or detectives. You still have to have people. What it does is make them so much more efficient,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The center will start out taking requests, mostly by phone, from commanding officers, and only for serious crimes. It will likely take a while before every police officer knows it's available to them.

“We're a big agency,” said Kelly. “We have 37,000 uniformed officers, so getting people to know about this center and using it prudently and to make certain that we don't overwhelm it, it's going to take training, and we’ll be engaged in it.”

As they figure out how much the center can handle, police will use it for other things like counterterrorism operations. It's all new.

“To the best of our knowledge, as the mayor said, there's no other law enforcement agency that has this capability,” said Kelly.

The Real Time Crime Center will be up and running on Monday at police headquarters, when they'll start taking calls about shootings and homicides in the five boroughs.

- Solana Pyne
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