- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - City officials in Indianapolis have started up a new data center that they say will help police investigations and give real-time crime analysis to the public.

The program, called the Real-Time Data Center, will be staffed with civilian personnel and police officers who can provide instant information on crimes to patrol officers and detectives, The Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/1JYqlsg ) reported.

“This is not a static computer bank, but rather an organic, ever-changing system looking at crime using the latest technology and helping our officers be more proactive than ever before,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett, who took office Jan. 1.

The new center is part of a crime plan from Hogsett and Indianapolis Police Chief Troy Riggs for their first 100 days in office, with a focus on data collection and neighborhood policing.

Around six analysts will staff the center to start, with plans to add six more positions, Riggs said. Analysts will have the ability to put together local arrest records, dispatch information and police reports for officers on the streets, and make use of more than 100 street and building cameras in Indianapolis.

Riggs said analysts at the data center will be expected to compile crime data for the city and neighborhoods, which he said can help with tracking crime trends. Also, in a disaster such as a tornado or flood, analysts will be able to help on-scene emergency personnel by communicating with other law enforcement agencies and looking for developments on social media.

No extra funding from the city will be required for the data center for now, Riggs said. In the future, he said the police department could pursue new crime mapping programs and that the city will look at grant funding.

The center’s coordinator, Maj. Thomas Kern, said a key to getting the data program to work is making better use of existing resources.

“We have people analyzing this, that and the other, and we need to do it in a more comprehensive approach for the entire agency,” Kern said. “It’s taking it all and making it more integrated.”

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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