"Having The Technology Is Like Having A Third Person In Each Patrol Car."
James White | Assistant Chief | Detroit Police Department
Detroit Police Department: Renewing Hope Through A Safer Motor City
Initiating Change Starts With Understanding The Problem
When Police Chief James Craig took up his post in Detroit in 2013, he was faced with some difficult hurdles to overcome. According to the Detroit Free Press, crime rates in 2012 were higher than they had been in 20 years. The city, hit hard by the recession, was slow to recover. Craig’s task was multi-faceted: develop better ways to fight crime, while improving police morale and winning the trust of Detroit-area citizens. In addition to building on traditional tactics, Craig looked into new technologies that would give the department new capabilities and help drive real change in the community.
The Detroit Police Department
The Detroit Police Department has approximately 1,600 sworn officers that serve a city population of 688,000.
Detroit's Real-Time Crime Center
Detroit PD deployed their own Real-Time Crime Center in conjunction with Project Green Light with four CommandCentral Aware positions that integrate:
Detroit Police Department was facing some of the highest crime rates the city had seen in decades. They needed a way to not only reduce violent crime in the city, but also help restore an environment capable of supporting economic growth.
The establishment of a Real-Time Crime Center using CommandCentral Aware, along with unprecedented partnerships to stream video from participating private businesses as a part of Project Green Light, allowed Detroit PD to redefine the meaning of real-time crime fighting.
Detroit has since seen a 40% reduction in violent crime at the eight pilot locations. This change has been attributed to having analyst eyes on scene within seconds - virtually, enabling more accurate information sharing for increased officer awareness.
Behind Chief Craig’s vision was a simple idea: by leveraging technology, the department could move away from reacting to crime and play a much bigger role in interrupting crime in real-time. The idea for Project Green Light was born. High-definition cameras were installed at gas stations where the highest incidences of crime occurred. These cameras transmit their feeds to the Detroit PD's Real-Time Crime Center where analysts, under Sergeant Kari Sloan, use CommandCentral Aware to monitor the video streams and virtually patrol crime hotspots.
As those in the Real-Time Crime Center learned the new technology, it quickly became clear to first responders in the field, analysts, leadership, and the rest of the team, that they had a new set of resources that could change the way they approached their jobs.
See How The Detroit Police Department Is Transforming Operations
Building Trust And Changing Perceptions
As Chief Craig monitors the program, he's seeing success - citizens feel safer and there's a greater sense of comfort and community in the neighborhoods. Businesses in the community want to participate in Project Green Light and departments across the country are trying to learn more about implementing similar programs that leverage similar technologies.
Ultimately the goal is a safer Detroit. “It starts with being able to take your family downtown, to a neighborhood in the city and feel safe,” says Assistant Chief White. “It’s about that communication with the community, and our interaction with the community. It’s about technology. It’s about all these pieces working together. If I feel safe, I’m going to visit the city. If I feel safe and I visit the city and I have a good experience, I’m going to tell the city’s story."
Detroit Police Department is embracing smart public safety technology to revitalize and restore faith in their city. Read how they are not only solving crime more quickly, but fighting and interrupting it in real time with video intelligence using CommandCentral Aware.
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