NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk city leaders are continuing their efforts to fight crime – creating a Real Time Crime Center (RTCC).
During a speech to the city council this week, Interim Police Chief Mike Goldsmith He said that the center will be managed by 21 people who are ordinary people and other officials.
They will manage multiple cameras at once, including city cameras, license plate readers and live feeds from schools and hospitals. The RTCC will allow them to see a hypothetical event unfold in real time allowing the police to respond quickly.
“If we see something going on before it turns violent, we can get the police there and hopefully stop the violence before it turns into something tragic,” Goldsmith. he said.
Community activist Clay Marquez, who leads the anti-crime group Guns Down, likes the idea of using technology to fight crime but has concerns it could lead to racial profiling or abuse.
“There will be a lot of concerned citizens, I can tell you that, and a lot of fake news,” Marquez said.
Goldsmith says it will pave the way for better policing and put more eyes on the ground to help the police, who have more than 200 on the ground.
“This is not about mass incarceration,” Goldsmith said. “It is about looking at who the violent people are; looking at them; what they are doing, who, what and where is happening.”
The initial cost of the crime center is $196,200 with most of the funding coming from the state. The biggest problem, Goldsmith said, is the recurring costs budget of 661,500. year.
That’s money Marquez thinks could be better spent on boots for low-level testing.
“Where will the money come from?” said Marquez. “I think there’s a lot of money out there that a lot of us could use out here and get out here in these communities and work for ourselves, and do what we can.”
The police chief plans to have the RTCC operational by June. The exact location is still being discussed.
The Newport News Police Department has an RTCC that Goldsmith said he visited and is using as a model. Hampton Police have something similar.
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