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Real Time Crime Center working to solve crime parish-wide

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BATON ROUGE - The Real Time Crime Center is a hub inside of the Baton Rouge Police Department where information comes in, in real time, and is processed.

Inside the center, several screens show real-time crime calls, camera angles, maps, and data. Lt. William Clarida is Baton Rouge Police Department's Uniform Patrol Commander and assists in command with the Real Time Crime Center.

"The concept for the Real Time Crime Center deals with wanting to have all of the actionable information that we can possibly gather throughout the city and throughout the parish as well and have it go to one place," said Clarida. "Where it can be looked at, it can be vetted, it can be acted upon if possible."

The technology center is manned by law enforcement, watching high-crime areas all over the parish. It's able to monitor well over 500 cameras.

RTCC was a vision of Chief Murphy Paul's and an effort to reduce crime led by data.

"It allows us to go in and determine what types of crimes are occurring when they're occurring, the days of the week they're occurring, all the way down to a certain street that has been an issue," said Clarida.

The information is precise. Shot spotters can track shots fired down to a location within three meters. The data puts police in certain areas where crime is happening. It's a response known as "Hot Spot Policing."

"We have officers go into those areas multiple times a day and be highly visible," said Clarida. "It's part of a call for service now."

Clarida says being present is making a difference and the effort involves community participation. Residents and businesses with their surveillance can sign up online with the Connect Blue program and actively contribute to the safety of the city. The program keeps a log of who has cameras in the event a crime occurs in their area.

"A detective working it would actually call and say, 'hey, I see you're on the list, we have a crime that occurred close to your proximity could you check to see if you have footage for us?'" said Clarida.

Neighborhood security systems, like the one in Sherwood Forest, are also coming online. An upgrade to cameras downtown has already helped police make multiple arrests, recently assisting police in finding someone who was defacing property. With the help of those cameras in the RTCC, Clarida says as soon as the call came, it took less than five minutes to locate the person the police were looking for and identify a suspect.

The cameras track motion, people, gender, the color clothing they're wearing, vehicles, all with safety in mind.

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