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Six More Police Districts To Get High-Tech Crime-Fighting Nerve Centers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- City leaders are touting the expansion of smart policing technology to six more districts, and they say the new resources are already reducing crime around Chicago. Now, all but three districts are equipped with the sophisticated tools.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel plan to announce the installation of "strategic decision support centers" in the Shakespeare, Albany Park, Near North, Town Hall, Lincoln, and Rogers Park districts on Wednesday.

The Jefferson Park, Central, and Morgan Park districts are the last three police stations that have not received the so-called "nerve centers," equipped with ShotSpotter gunshot detection systems and other high-tech crime-fighting tools.

In addition to the ShotSpotter technology, the centers allow officers to monitor a network of surveillance cameras, license plate recognition software, the location of police units, and incoming calls for service. The screens inside each center are updated every 30 seconds, and the rooms are staffed 24 hours a day.

Investigators also work with the University of Chicago Crime Lab at each nerve center to analyze crime data and develop predictive crime-fighting strategies.

Police have said the tools are directly responsible for reductions in murders, shootings, carjackings, burglaries, robberies, and more.

City officials said the Jefferson Park, Central, and Morgan Park districts will get support centers "in the upcoming months."

Jefferson Park, downtown Chicago, and the Morgan Park/Beverly areas see some of the lowest numbers of shootings and violent crime in the city. Police said that's why they prioritized funding for nerve centers in other districts first.

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