FWPD tries new crime-mapping tool to get ahead of trends

New Technology pinpoints "High Crime" areas

FORT WORTH -- Morning roll call has been a little different these days for the men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department's South Division.
 
"We’ve got two thefts on the service road that occurred the last couple days," says Sgt. Dalton Webb as he stands in front of his officers, briefing them on the day.
 
"If possible, let's get some more patrols in this area."
 
These officers are leaving for patrol Friday armed with far more information than they used to have. We went on patrol with Sgt. Webb so he could show us why.
 
"This is the 'Omega Crime View dashboard,'" he says, pointing to a web site on his computer screen.
 

 
It's a tool the department starting using within the past couple of months. Using information from the CAD and report management systems, it allows them to see an actual map of where crimes are happening.
 
"In a way, it's almost predictive policing," Webb says.
 
Before, Dalton says that information would've taken a week or two to compile through the department's crime analysts. Now it's at their fingertips, updated twice daily. It allows them to see trends as they develop and adjust accordingly.
 
"We can then direct the officers into these areas, say 'hey, maybe be closer to where these priority one calls are occurring for a quicker response time,'" he says.
 
In the South Hills neighborhood of Fort Worth, residents like Quina Cano say improving response times is crucial.
 
"They break into the houses or steal whatever’s lying around," she says of the crime in her neighborhood. She says anything to combat those crimes helps.
 
"I think it's wonderful, all the measures they're taking to attack crime," Cano says.
 
The program costs $50,000 upfront, and will cost another $15,000 a year to run. Police say officers are still training to use the program on a voluntary basis.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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