NEW YORK—Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced the opening of the Real Time Crime Center on Thursday, a brand-new technology nerve center for the NYPD, whose primary purpose is to give field officers comprehensive, instantaneous information to help identify and stop emerging crime.
On Monday, July 18, a team of 26 highly trained officers will have access to the real time command center, an $11 million project with capabilities to analyze police data and provide officers with clues to help solve violent criminal investigations and identify emerging crime patterns with unprecedented speed.
The high-tech command center “will put valuable information into the hands of detectives even before they leave the squad room, so they can hit the ground running in identifying and apprehending criminals,” Kelly said.
The Crime Center, an important managing tool and crime-fighting resource, will also track all New York City crime and related responses, giving officers an accurate representation of police resources and availability in the five boroughs, according to Kelly.
The first phase of the project and the core of the command center is a massive crime data warehouse, which IBM Global Services built using WebSphere utilizing IBMs DB2 Universal database and Cognos Series 7 Powerplay technology to house billions of public records and police reports, according to an NYPD representative.
The system provides officers with real time information on criminal suspects, including recent address and telephone numbers, arrest and parole information and even nicknames and tattoos, valuable information that may have taken investigators weeks to obtain through paper records.
Crime Center officials contracted Dimension Data as the lead integrator for the second phase of the project and asked the IT company to produce diagnostic programs to allow officers to run multi-layered, on-the-spot analyses within the stored data, according to Program Manager David Petri.
Utilizing mainly business intelligence tools like Reportnet 1.1 and Accurint Pro, the command center cross-references public and criminal records to carry out entity extractions, which help pinpoint specific information buried within various data sets.
Subsequent link analyses will help investigators establish seemingly unrelated criminal patterns and associations.
The Crime Center also partnered satellite imaging and digital mapping programs from MapXTreme Java 4.7.1 and MapInfo Pro with Cognos Intelligence technology for “seamless integration of crime on map,” according to Chief Architect and CIO James Onalfo.
The crime-mapping application will be used to track criminals to known addresses and help investigators make predictions about where the suspects may flee.
The main focus of the Crime Center is to do away with the majority of the grunt work that hinders police investigation.
The Centers chief functions are to provide officers and detectives with comprehensive and highly relevant real time criminal information, analytical tools and Modus Operandi [MO] & Pattern Databases, which Onalfo described as “critical new technology.”
The NYPD is the only agency in the country to utilize such a high-tech crime-fighting center, giving its officers a number of new capabilities that hadnt been available previously.
Among these new capabilities are the Crime Data Warehouse, MO & Pattern Data Base, Public Information Data Bases, Recidivist [or “bad guy”] Tracking, Real Time Flow of Crime Activity, Mapping Applications, 911 Dash Boards, Real Time Data Marts, Location 911 Call Patterns and IBM Omnifind 8.2 Advanced Text Search, according to the NYPD Office of Technology & Systems Development.
“This does not replace police officers,” Bloomberg said at a news conference Thursday. “It makes them more efficient.”
In anticipation of future development, Onalfo described a number of new technologies that are under evaluation for use in the Crime Center, during an interview with Ziff Davis Internet News.
Over the next three years, officials hope to install a citywide wireless network to increase accessibility to the command center, 3-D visualization tools, highly accurate fingerprint and facial recognition technology, advanced mapping technology, real time photo technology and an internal data link to other agencies, among other things.
Bloomberg described the multimillion-dollar system, which was established with funding from the Mayors Executive Budget, the Police Foundation and the federal government, “one of the best investments we could possibly make.”