Jim Kouri
August 7, 2005
NYPD opens Real Time Crime Center
By Jim Kouri

The New York City Police Department opened the Real Time Crime Center this summer just in time for ramped up police operations in the Big Apple as a result of the terrorist bombings in London, England. The $11 million center, located adjacent to the NYPD's Emergency Operations Center in the police headquarters building at One Police Plaza in Manhattan, conducts rapid analysis of homicides and shootings citywide.

"The new Real Time Crime Center is a new and powerful technological resource that will help the NYPD protect New Yorkers better than ever before," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a press conference at City Hall. "As I announced at the State of the City Address, the center will use sophisticated information technology to identify and stop emerging crime quickly. It will help police stop spikes in crime before they become trends, and make sure dangerous criminals are caught before they can hurt others."

"The 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," added Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

An estimated two dozen police officers and detectives use the advanced data mining technology housed in the center to swiftly provide investigators in the field with information about crime scenes, potential suspects, and other leads to bring criminals to justice as soon as possible. The center tracks all crime and all responses to it, providing a real-time picture of police resources and their availability throughout the city, making it an important management tool and crime-fighting resource. The creation of this facility will also assist in preventing and responding to terrorism and terrorist groups.

The heart of the Real Time Crime Center is a massive data warehouse in which billions of records are within reach of detectives within minutes, instead of days or weeks. These include:

  • Over 5 million New York State criminal records, parole and probation files

  • Over 20 million New York City criminal complaints, 911/311 calls and summonses spanning five years

  • Over 31 million national crime records

  • Over 33 billion public records

The Center also employs satellite imaging and sophisticated mapping of the City precinct-by-precinct. Its link analysis capacity can track suspects to all of their known addresses and point detectives to the locations where they are most likely flee.

Before the establishment of the Real Time Crime Center, Detectives would have limited access to this information and would spend precious hours and days finding it. In contrast, the center's staff will be able to provide all relevant information to detectives in minutes by phone, e-mail, fax, or pager, in many cases even before they arrive at the crime scene.

The Center began operations on July 18, and provides support 24-hours, 7-days a week. Initially, the Center will field questions from commanders and supervisors of detective squads throughout the five boroughs of New York for cases involving homicides and shootings. As the capacity to support these key investigations is measured, an assessment will be made as to expanding the center's response to include other serious crimes.

The $11 million Real Time Crime Center was established mainly with funding from the Mayor's Executive Budget, but also included $1.3 million from the Police Foundation and approximately $1.8 million in Federal funds.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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