SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – For many, crime in Shreveport is the number one problem facing the city. Virtually everyone is in agreement something needs to be done, and a contingency from Shreveport visited New Orleans on Friday to do just that.
Members of city government and public safety touring New Orleans Real Time Crime Center. They got a first hand look at world class technology that Mayor Adrian Perkins is hoping to implement in Shreveport.
“After today were even more impressed about this than before,” said Perkins. “My degree of certainty was pretty high, but it’s much higher now that I have seen everything.”
The Real Time Crime Center’s administrator says the cameras not only capture crimes, but aid in ambulance response times, search and rescue efforts and eliminating bad leads in felony investigations.
“We hear from our constituents on a daily basis as it relates to crime,” said Shreveport City Councilperson Tabatha Taylor. “And this is just another answer to that.”
In all about 1,000 cameras, both public and private, are being used at the command center. It gives the public safety facility an eye in the sky seeing virtually everything in and around the New Orleans. Technology aiding law enforcement so manpower is best used.
“New Orleans is reporting that they freed up over 1,000 hours of time that our officers can now spend patrolling the communities looking for crime and deterring crime,” said Marcus Mitchell, Shreveport Police’s Chief Administrative Assistant.
The Real Time Crime Center is fashioned after similar police safety efforts in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and Memphis. Getting it up and running was a multi-million dollar project which used no federal dollars.
“In order to get us open and operating the initial investment was about $5 million,” said Ross Bourgeois, the Administrator of the Real Time Crime Center. “And then obviously every camera that we’ve installed after that there is an additional cost.”
Putting cameras on poles involves partnerships with public utilities and internet provides. Mayor Perkins says Shreveport’s group learned about those logistics today as well.
“We had a thorough conversation about all the partners. How they work with the City Council. How they work with the Office of Homeland Security. How they work with the utilities,” said Perkins. “Again we just learned a ton today. I can’t wait to go back and reach out to those partners. Who by the way, are pretty excited about this as well.”
The Shreveport contingency also toured the Real Time Crime Center in Baton Rouge.