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TMCNet:  Ventura police use new software to better map, prevent crimes [Ventura County Star, Calif.]

[December 08, 2013]

Ventura police use new software to better map, prevent crimes [Ventura County Star, Calif.]

(Ventura County Star (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 08--Ventura police officers used to use pushpins to map crimes in the different beats of the city. The map often listed crimes that occurred days or weeks earlier, making follow-up difficult for investigators and analysts.


Now, police have new computer software that lets dispatchers and watch commanders pull up a map that plots incidents to help solve and prevent crimes a lot quicker.

"That visual aid is available in all areas of the department," Police Chief Ken Corney said. "It's not just something the crime analysis unit looks at and sends out in a bulletin. It's available for everyone to use." The Ventura Police Department has been working with Motorola Global Solutions for more than 10 years and was chosen to participate in a pilot program for the Real-Time Crime Center.

The final product, nicknamed "the dashboard," is a hybrid of Ventura's communications system integrated with Motorola software, said David Thomas of Motorola. The company is working with more than 50 agencies to implement similar programs, but Ventura is the first to use this particular "intelligence data discovery." "We have a great and mutually beneficial relationship with Ventura," Thomas said. "The chief is one of our most progressive customers." The dashboard displays current calls for service and incidents in the previous 24 hours, and officials can pull up recent crimes in problem areas of the city. Ventura police also can see video footage from the pier, promenade, Pacific View mall and some schools and are working to sync the new software with streaming video, officials said.

Having information displayed in a timely manner allows dispatchers to communicate with officers in the field and helps them assign priorities to calls, Corney said.

"We're impressed with the results, and we're still learning how to use it," the chief said.

Thomas said the dashboard can be effective as an incident is unfolding, help identify suspects and serve as a crime prevention tactic.

"This allows officials to plan and deploy resources more effectively," Thomas said.

___ (c)2013 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.) Visit Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.) at www.vcstar.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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