Tampa Bay law enforcement get connected, shares information efficiently
Law enforcement organizations in the Tampa Bay area of Florida are utilizing what has been called a social network for police to allow for better dissemination and sharing of relevant and vital information. The Tampa Tribune recently highlighted the use of NC4 Street Smart, an intelligence sharing platform specifically designed for the needs and operational specifics of law enforcement agencies. The platform has been in place with the Tampa Police Department since 2012 and a recent federal grant has allowed other organizations in the greater Tampa Bay area to benefit from the constant connectivity and information dispersal powers of NC4 Street Smart.
Just a few of the advantages
Tampa police have seen some significant improvements in operations since they first started using NC4 Street Smart. With access available through in-vehicle terminals used by officers and workstations in the department, it's far easier to distribute BOLOs, add geographically targeted information and determine patterns in the occurrences of crime and identify hotspots where incidents are more frequent. The knowledge-sharing aspect of NC4 Street Smart allows new officers and those unfamiliar with a certain beat or portion of the city to quickly get up to speed, essentially acting as a force multiplier in terms of operational knowledge. Crime control efforts are more effective through the use of such data, and individual officers can supplement existing reports in minutes - an advantage that simply isn't possible with a system reliant on paper or radios for communication.
A wider net for law enforcement to cast
Now, other organizations in the area will join in using the power of the software thanks to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Tampa City Council. The grant, from the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Areas Security Initiative, totaled $390,000. The money will allow the Pasco County Sheriff's Department, the University of South Florida Police Department and eight other area law enforcement agencies to take advantage of NC4 Street Smart, according to local CBS affiliate WTSP. One of the biggest benefits is the passage of important information across a wider area, keeping all officers in the know.
"Bad guys don't have boundaries," said Laura McElroy, Tampa Police Department public information officer, to WTSP. "They don't know where one city ends and a new city starts. So with this new technology and the long arm of the law, we will be able to follow the bad guys no matter where they go. "They can run, but they can't hide."
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