Is Shreveport’s new Real-Time Crime Center helping solve crimes?
Learn why some residents, businesses are granting permission to use their outdoor security cameras
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport’s Real-Time Crime Center has been up and running since late September.
Authorities recently asked residents and businesses for permission to use their outdoor security cameras to help the center solve crimes.
So far, 25 residential cameras and four business cameras have been signed up, with live cameras at two business and two apartment complexes. However, Keith Hanson, chief technology officer for the city, is urging more people to sign up, especially if they live near crime ‘hot spot’ areas.
“If you’ve ever felt like you wanted to help, but don’t know how, this is one of the easiest ways you can help our public safety here,” Hanson said. “Basically any camera you have that has a great street view we are interested in, like a Ring and other doorbell cameras. That gives a good breadcrumb trail for our detectives to build a case around.”
He reiterates the city won’t have direct access to the cameras, but if a crime occurs they will know who has a camera registered in the surrounding area.
The city is in talks with SWEPCO to put up cameras around the city in designated crime hot spot areas; officials say the cameras should be up and operational within the next 30 days.
Mayor Adrian Perkins says he is optimistic about the Real-Time Crime Center.
“The implications are huge,” Perkins said. “We’re talking public safety, we’re talking cleaning up our city. We know the violent crime wave we are experiencing and we know we need to come up with real solutions to keep our community safe.”
Another tool SPD has utilized is Crime Stoppers. Reed Ebarb, president of Caddo-Shreveport Crime Stoppers, says while the number of tips they’ve received has decreased over the last year, the quality of the tips has risen.
“We have seen a decrease in tips, probably because we’ve seen a decrease in most areas of crime, those things tend to correspond,” Ebarb said. “But we have seen an increase in the quality of tips. So we have been able to close out more tips this year, than any year before. We have closed out more homicide tips in this last fiscal year than we have ever in our history.”
Ebarb says through anonymous tips given to Crime Stoppers, 10 homicide investigations have been solved this past year, compared to one or two homicide cases solved annually in years past. He says with the addition of the crime center, the city will be able to have an impact on crime like never before.
“Now, we are working with the Real-Time Crime Center to link them up with some of the most violent apartment complexes in Shreveport that has cameras, and we think it’s going to expedite the process by a very large degree,” Ebarb said. “The Real Time Crime Center has full time analysts that can go back, pull video, snip it and send it to SPD. SPD verifies it, we put it out, and within days we can go from the crime happening to having the case solved. This is going to be a timeline and a partnership like we have never seen before. We are going to be able to close a lot more cases because of this.”
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