While saying it’s been in operation for two months, Seattle Police just officially unveiled what they’re calling the Real-Time Crime Center, as a key component of a strategy titled “Agile Policing.”
The RTCC is a room at SPD headquarters downtown where a commander, analysts, and others are monitoring, and responding to, trends detected in real time around the city, tracked on a big board showing how many calls are open at any given time, what types of calls (divided into three “priority” categories), and where, updated every six seconds. The screengrab above is from a demonstration by SPD chief operating officer Mike Wagers during the Seattle Channel‘s live webcast of the announcement; we’ll add or substitute the video clip when it’s available via SC later. Here’s the official news release via SPD Blotter; we have a few more notes from having monitored the announcement live:
It’s centralizing analysis and data-sorting functions rather than having, as SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole called them, “islands of information” at precincts and other locations. SPD says it’s also enabling information to be sorted and interpreted more quickly in a way that can assist officers in the field. One example given was a “shots fired” call, in which 911 might receive more than a dozen calls from people, each offering a fragment of information that could be a puzzle piece usable for solving/tracing it – what was heard, what was seen, was there a car, part of a license plate – all to be put together and sent to officers rather than expecting them all to sort and decode the puzzle pieces while busy with everything else in the field.
Right now, SPD says, the RTCC is being staffed Mondays-Fridays 8 am-4 pm and Tuesday nights-Saturday nights 4 pm-2 am, but that could change if they determine different scheduling would be better. They were asked what live cameras are being used, if any; only SDOT cameras that are also visible to the public, SPD replied – not any current or future police cameras (dash cams, body cams, the never-activated surveillance cameras).