The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has launched two new tech-enabled initiatives – the Real-Time Crime Center and CameraConnect DC – which are both intended to fight crime and help the MPD apprehend criminals.

The new Real-Time Crime Center has been staffed by MPD since mid-February and city leaders said it has already played a role in assisting patrol officers on the scene of critical incidents. The Real-Time Crime Center collects and analyzes data from various sources, including CCTV cameras and emergency calls, to enhance situational awareness, facilitate quick decision-making, and improve the overall efficiency of crime prevention and response efforts.

The MPD said that the Real-Time Crime Center will “play a crucial role in identifying patterns, coordinating resources, providing timely information to officers on the ground, and contributing to a more proactive and effective approach to policing.”

In tandem with its efforts to improve response efforts, the new CameraConnect DC initiative allows residents and businesses to more effectively and efficiently share security camera footage with the Real-Time Crime Center to support MPD with investigating crimes and closing cases.

“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,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We have been focused, for many years now, on how we expand our network of cameras, because we know that video plays a key role in investigating cases and successfully prosecuting criminals. Now, we are calling on residents and businesses to partner with us through CameraConnect DC to help us build a safer, stronger DC.”

D.C. residents with doorbell or CCTV cameras can now sign up and register their cameras with MPD. If a crime occurs near a registered camera, the Real-Time Crime Center will send an alert requesting any relevant footage that could help MPD’s investigators. Additionally, businesses, apartment complexes, and commercial facilities have the option to fully integrate their footage with MPD’s Real-Time Crime Center, providing MPD instant access to camera footage should a threat or incident occur nearby.

D.C. is working with a range of local partners to support the Real-Time Crime Center, including Amtrak Police, police forces in Virginia and Maryland, DC Housing Authority Police, Metro Transit Police, the United States Capitol Police, the United States Park Police, the FBI, the ATF, the United States Marshals Service, and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Read More About
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs