CPD Expands New Crime Fighting Center

CHICAGO (CBS) — The city has expanded its rollout of its latest crime fighting technology on Chicago’s south and west sides.

It’s called the Strategic Decision Support Center and it’s a room inside Chicago’s 7th and 11th districts and under construction at other police stations. WBBM’s Lisa Fielding reports.

“As we roll out this technology, we focus on the districts that present the greatest challenges with violence,” said Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “First the 7th and 11th districts at the beginning of the year. Then the 9th and 15th districts and now we will expand to the 6th and 10th districts this Spring.”

“We are expanding from the current shots fired coverage area which is 13 square miles in the 7th and 11th police districts,” said District Commander Jonathon Lewin. “We’re adding 15.95 square miles in 6 and 10 and we’re adding 17.31 square miles in 9 and 15, so we’re going to a total of 46.26 square miles city wide.”

He says the technology is the most advanced platform of its kind in the country.

“While this pilot program is still in its earliest stages, we’ve seen promising signs that utilizing this technology to make us smarter and faster is also helping us to reduce violence,” Johnson said.

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Shot Spotter technology in the 7th and 11th police districts (Credit: WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

Last month, the 7th and 11th districts saw success with reductions of shootings by nearly 60 percent in the 7th district and 40 percent in the 11th district compared to February of last year.

“While this isn’t a declaration of victory, it’s progress in the right direction. We hope to see similar results soon in the 9th and 15th districts as they come online.”

The Centers will be staffed 24-7 and provide real time information and analysis. Police officers will also be armed with smart phones so they can access the technology from the field.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and District Commander Jonathon Lewin speak on the expansion on new crime fighting technology (Credit: WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

“The completion and expansion of district-wide Shot Spotter technology and pod cameras, also the incorporation of the mobile technology to officers in the field. It represents the investment in technology and data drive enfoldment that will help us reduce violent crime in the South and West Sides of Chicago,” Johnson said.

The city says it will cut down response time and act as a predictive and preventive tool to fight crime.

With new technology, and a new strategy, Johnson says he’s confident the city’s violent crime will decrease next year.

“I don’t want to jinx it but we’ve never seen reductions in the 7th and 11th districts like that. Yes, I’m fully on board with this. Anything we can do to reduce the violence in Chicago, we should try,” said Johnson.

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