INDIANAPOLIS — New police technology is helping local and federal law enforcement find some reprieve from staffing challenges. Virtual policing, as IMPD calls it, puts more eyes in more areas.
With a notable decrease in homicides, shootings and robberies, they believe they’re on the right track.
“Who are the individuals who are out there shooting,” US Attorney Zach Myers said of what prosecutors and police are always trying to pinpoint. “What are the firearms that are being used to commit these crimes in our communities?”
These are the main questions prosecutors and police use technology to answer. IMPD looks to a variety of cameras to help fight crime: license plate readers, public safety cameras, private cameras and cameras on mobile trailers.
Authorities acknowledge these devices don’t solve everything, but they help.
“Today, we are at almost a 14% decline in our homicides, 11% decline in non-fatal shootings, almost 10% in robberies,” IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams said.
Thursday afternoon, we learned Project Safe Neighborhoods, a federal program, would provide IMPD with an additional four movable trailer cameras. The department already utilizes six of them.
“These trailers send real-time video images back to the IMPD Incident Analysis Center,” Adams said.
The incident analysis center housed on the east side gives three detectives and a supervisor an area to monitor cameras located around Indy and collect information from them.
Taxpayers will now fund seven additional analysts and another supervisor in 2023.
“We need to get to a 24/7 operation, we’re not there yet because of staffing but we need to get there,” Adams said.
IMPD said the real-time footage in the analysis center allowed them to quickly identify a suspect in the fatal downtown shooting of a Dutch soldier in August.
Right now, the analysis center is staffed through the week during normal business hours and longer on Fridays and Saturdays. IMPD is hoping Project Safe Neighborhoods will help them fund an expansion to the center with better resources.
“The technology helps us be a little bit more focused, it helps us be a little bit more dialed onto who may be driving the violence,” Adams said.