Shreveport councilman says Real Time Crime Center should be under leadership of SPD

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 9:28 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Real Time Crime Center was created in 2021 in an effort to allow multiple agencies access to a central network of cameras that they could use to respond to emergencies or crime.

At this time, the center is overseen by the city of Shreveport’s Chief Technology Officer Keith Hanson. However, Shreveport City Councilman Grayson Boucher says the responsibility should be in the hands of the Shreveport Police Department.

Boucher says he plans to propose an amendment for the crime center to be run by police.

“From it’s inception I have always wanted it to be in the police department or under the police department’s umbrella. I felt the best place for it would be in the police department and manned by people who have been vetted, similarly to what the police department does for their communications officers. That’s been one of my biggest issues with it,” he said.

On the other hand, Hanson says officers aren’t required to do the job.

“They [RTCC employees] have police background, or they have a military background. Ideally, military, or police background or they have criminal justice backgrounds. The tests they are required to do is to pay attention to what’s happening on the 911 call board, watch for any life-threatening moments, pull cameras in the moment if you can, record what you see, clip that footage, write the report, and send it. I don’t think sworn officers, or even other types of commissioned officers, are required for that work,” he said.

Boucher said he thinks the center should be relocated.

“The CAO said the other day in our budget meeting that they were looking to move the Real Time Crime Center to the new police station anyway. So, let’s go ahead and let Chief Smith have this tool under his belt as opposed to it being under the IT director’s,” Boucher said.

Hanson said the location of the Real Time Crime Center is not a concern of his.

“We’ve been delivering evidence steadily for a year now. The only thing I have a problem with, I don’t care where it operates as long as our city has one,” Hanson said.

Boucher argues a stricter vetting process is needed for people that handle the information that comes into the center.

“If you’re a police communications officer, PCO1, you have to go through a lie detector, you have to go through psychological evaluation, you have to go through several different things. We’re not doing that with our Real Time Crime Center employees. I also think we’re dealing with some very sensitive information in the Real Time Crime Center. That information needs to be under the police chief, also the placement of the cameras needs to be under the police chief.”

Hanson says he wants the center to stay transparent with the community.

“I understand where some of the concern comes from. Certainly, some citizens may feel more comfortable. Some citizens may feel less comfortable that it would be in the police department. I think the greater good here is that we have a Real Time Crime Center and it’s operating ethically, that it’s operating transparently. There are audit trails for everything and respecting our citizen’s privacy by retaining as little footage as possible.”