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Elk Grove's New Real-Time Crime Fighting Hub Helps Track Down Suspects

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A new local hub is the latest in crime-fighting technology and it's already proving to be successful. 

It's called the REAL TIME Information Center in Elk Grove.

Now when you make a 911 call, not only are officers dispatched, but this crime-fighting center is activated using hundreds of cameras at major intersections and on busses to help police track down suspects.

"Each camera is like having an officer on that corner 24 hours a day seven days a week," said Chris Hill, Elk Grove PD IT manager.

When a crime is in progress in Elk Grove, sometimes the first units on scene aren't on the ground. Police are using this new high-tech hub to assist patrol officers from the time the 911 call first comes in,

The half-million-dollar facility is equipped with a network of computers and TV screens monitoring more than 300 cameras, traffic feeds, and even high definition video on city busses.

"We've had all this information before this center and we really struggled with what do we do with it, trying to be a police officer and use that in your vehicle or out in the field really wasn't feasible," said Hill.

"We went live with this two weeks ago," said Officer Jason Jimenez.

And in that short time, they've already had some big success. On Wednesday, one of the cameras caught the license plate of Johnathon Inocencio — a suspect wanted for murder in Livermore. They were able to follow his white Ford Explorer with four different cameras until officers could catch up and make an arrest.

"That information was vital for those officers in directing them directly to that suspect," said Jimenez.

From patrol car locations to crimes called in, everything is laid out on this 14-foot wall. 

"We have a call for service here, one of the operators could click on the camera and bring that information up," said Hill.

They even have detailed maps of schools to quickly direct officers who may not be familiar with every campus. The cameras are meant to make the city safer, but some people have concerns about privacy.

"I believe it's a double-edged sword," said Kuyler Hardaway.

Hardaway has lived in Elk Grove for 20 years and says this is the first she's heard about these cameras.

"It's kind of like a big brother you know, getting into people's business that are just minding their own business," she said.

But police say these early successes prove this new technology can be a big help in fighting crime.

"In the end, this is here to strictly provide an additional level of safety to our community," said Jimenez.

In the future, they plan on updating and adding even more cameras to monitor the city. 

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