CPD Launches Second High-Tech Hub To Fight Violent Crime

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Police Department has unveiled the second of its two new Strategic Decision Support Centers, which will use high-tech tools to predict where violent crime might happen.

The Harrison Police District, which had more murders last year than any other district, now has the department’s latest tool in the fight against gun violence in Chicago.

ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology will be used across the entire district, as one part of a technology-based plan to reduce crime in a district which saw more than 90 homicides in 2016.

The centerpiece of that effort is the new Strategic Decision Support Center, which enables officers to track crime in real time.

The so-called “situation room” will be staffed 24 hours a day, and allow officers to monitor gunshot sensors, a network of surveillance cameras, the locations of police units, and incoming calls for service. The screens are updated every 30 seconds.

Police officials said the information should decrease response times, leading to more arrests and lives saved.

“In two minutes, a vehicle could travel a few miles. So, minutes, 30 seconds, whatever it is faster, it gets us closer to that crime, and gives us the probability and possibility of catching offenders and rendering aid in a faster manner,” Chicago Police Capt. Steven Sesso said.

Additional technology known as a HunchLab soon will be incorporated into the system at the Harrison District as well. It’s designed to help police where crime will occur by analyzing information about arrests, 911 calls, gang activity, and other police data.

A similar Strategic Decision Support Center was unveiled at the Englewood District police station last month.

If the two centers prove successful, police said they likely will expand the program to other districts.

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