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Monday, May 20, 2024

Bowser, Smith Unveil Real Time Crime Center

The District has launched a new approach to investigating and monitoring crime: the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC). DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and MPD Chief Pamela Smith officially unveiled the center Monday along with the new CameraConnect initiative which works to solicit community participation in the city’s crime prevention efforts.

The center’s home, the Marion Barry Building (441 Fourth St. SW), is a new space dedicated to collaboration between various federal, local and District agencies to curb crime.

While the center has been staffed and operating since February, Monday morning’s announcement was accompanied by a new program, CameraConnect, which will allow residents and businesses to share video footage to facilitate the investigation of crimes and help District and federal agencies close cases.

Officials plan to staff the center 24/7 and use it collect and analyze data from various sources to enhance situational awareness, facilitate quick decision making and mitigate crime. They hope this will play a “crucial role” in the identification of crime patterns, the coordination of resources and a “more proactive and effective approach” to policing.

Bowser, who announced the center in December, noted that the center’s collaborative structure would serve as a strong deterrent for criminals. “You’re going to be on camera, you’re going to get caught,” she said.

Bowser encouraged residents and businesses to register their doorbell and CCTV cameras with the center to help officials keep the city safe. She emphasized the “key role” that video plays in both the investigation and prosecution of criminals.  

Those who have registered their cameras with MPD can share relevant footage with the agency should a crime occur nearby. Individuals and businesses will also have the opportunity to “fully integrate” their cameras with the RTCC to provide instant access.

“The policies and strategies we’ve put in place to rebalance our public safety ecosystem are helping us drive down crime, and the Real-Time Crime Center is part of those efforts,” Bowser said.

Smith praised the efforts of the center in holding criminals “accountable” through video footage. She emphasized that the RTCC is one tool in MPD’s toolbox to help improve public safety for residents, visitors and businesses in the District.

Visit mpdc.dc.gov to learn more about the RTCC and the CameraConnect program.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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