New Jersey opens regional Real Time Crime Center
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Feb 11, 2015
New Jersey officials recently opened a regional information sharing center that will allow state and local law enforcement agencies to access technology and information, with the ultimate goal of reducing crimes and improving the quality of life in Newark and surrounding communities.
The Corr-Stat Real Time Crime Center (RTCC), launched in Newark in December 2014, “increases the response, analysis and support police officers need at crime scenes,” according to a blog from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Information Sharing Environment (ISE).
Its mission is to develop a network that will gather, receive, analyze and distribute real-time tactical intelligence and support to law enforcement agencies operating within the Corr-Stat Region, which represents more than 80 cities along the Route 21 Corridor of Northeast New Jersey, from Jersey City to Paterson, and including Newark.
Housed at the Newark Police Department headquarters, RTCC will function as part of a broader information sharing initiative among the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center, the Newark Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.
RTCC will allow investigators to access and analyze data from a range of agencies through a single portal. With a unified data access point, users will more readily “find connections between the all crimes suspicious activity reports, other data such as arrests, shooting, carjackings and incident information,” noted a fact sheet from the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police.
RTCC’s technology was created from equipment already owned by various local law enforcement agencies, said officials at the unveiling, some of which was acquired for last year’s Super Bowl and other major events.
They used tools such as GitHub-based Project Interoperability, a start-up guide for information interoperability for government employees, and the National Information Exchange Model, a standards-based approach to exchanging information, according to ISE.
New Jersey chose Newark as RTCC’s base because a disproportionate amount of crimes, including 20 percent of burglaries across the entire state, are committed in the Corr-Stat Region, according to the fact sheet.
The RTCC technology is part of a broader information sharing initiative among the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center, the Newark Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, according to an announcement to the media of the launch.
“RTCC will save money, allow for enhanced use of technology and equipment (both at the state and local levels) and support the regional partnership of state, county and local law enforcement agencies.”
Prior to RTCC, there was no automated or formalized way to capture, analyze and share criminal activities or suspicious behavior across New Jersey, limiting an investigator’s access to data and ability to identify patterns and trends in criminal activity.
“Bad guys aren’t hindered by jurisdictional boundaries. They’re not hindered by information silos. They don’t hoard information. Actually quite the opposite, they love to brag about what they do,” Newark Police Chief Anthony Campos told NJ.com. “So why were we always? You know what? We no longer are.”
“This is going to be the first time in this country that we’re looking at crime as a region,” said Col. Rick Fuentes of the State Police, reported NJ.com. Officials are in talks to expand the collaboration initiative to New York, added Fuentes.
The Smart Policing Initiative, a Bureau of Justice Assistance-sponsored initiative supporting law enforcement agencies in building evidence-based, data-driven law enforcement tactics, has provided funding to 30 law enforcement agencies to help them with their technology initiatives.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.