Tulsa's New Crime Center Gathers Real-Time Information For Officers In The Field

The Tulsa Police Department has activated the Real Time Information Center to feed officers information from cameras and online technology, much faster than ever before possible.

Wednesday, August 2nd 2023, 6:41 pm



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The Tulsa Police Department has activated the Real Time Information Center to feed officers information from cameras and online technology, much faster than ever before possible.

A team of Specialists monitor camera feeds and 911 dispatches, then start looking for information.

They’re inside a room filled with computers, and large monitors, inside City Hall.

They’re connected to 75 dedicated cameras, with the potential connect many more as the system expands.

Specialist Alexia Benson said they go to work as soon as a 911 call is made with the mission of “How can we help, how can we get more information before they get there, sometimes before they're even dispatched to the call?”

The center gives police a new tool to quickly analyze information they already had, but couldn't handle in real time.

“Everybody says this is a force multiplier” said City Councilor Phil Lakin, who was part of a team that visited a similar setup in Las Vegas, then urged its adoption in Tulsa.

The specialists can search social media, traffic cams, property records and criminal histories - and send that instantly to an officer.

Captain Jacob Johnston commands the center that's also tapped into what officers see and hear. “Our body worn cameras and in car cameras, we know where our officers cars are, and where the officer is standing, so we know what resources are closest to a call.”

It's also an evidence gathering tool because everything can be recorded and tied together for prosecutors. “I'm in love with the idea that we're going to be able to solve crimes faster, get the back guy off the street and bring justice to the victim” said District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler.

The capabilities, staffing, and hours are slowly building to a 24/7 operation.

The startup cost was partly covered by federal grants to help fight crime, and the Mayor says it's money well spent.

“In just the first few months of using this, hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen property has been recovered because of this center. Multiple homicides have been solved because of the technology in this center, including two that had no witness” said Bynum.

The information is limited to Tulsa now, but officers from other jurisdictions are already visiting, to imagine the future if their departments were patched into the network.

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