West Palm Beach police pushing for new crime command center

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West Palm Beach police pushing for new crime command center (WPEC)

Fighting crime in real time.

The West Palm Beach Police Department is pushing for a new center they say will help stop and solve crime.

The Real Time Crime Center would be located inside the department.

Inside that center staff members would give patrol officers real time information as they respond to calls.

Ultima Fitness owner Michael Platt just recently moved his business from Clematis Street to Flagler drive.

“People were literally afraid to walk,” he said.

What did it for Platt was when a random man tried to attack his trainer in broad daylight.

“The very fact that we invest money in planting more pretty trees and painting streets when we have such a problem with crime is a frustration to almost every business owner I speak with,” Platt said.

Platt said he wants to see the city better combat crime.

Chief Sarah Mooney said right now the department is asking the city to approve $1. 2 million for a Real Time Crime Center.

“We would have a person monitoring everything that's going on that could have the opportunity to immediately talk to people in the field and tell them what they are seeing and what they are monitoring,” she said.

The 24/7 crime center would bring together technology including ShotSpotter that listens for and locates gunfire, license plate readers to help track down a suspect, as well as citywide and private cameras from business and homeowners who choose to opt into the voluntary program.

“It’s going to immediately allow us to make very quick linkages between incidents that are occur in the city,” said Lt. Clifford Hagan.

Platt said he is all for the plan if it helps deter crime.

“I think any of us who are vested in this city want to help the police stop crime and I think this is a great way to do it,” he said.

The city commission is expected to talk about the proposal on May 21.

If approved, Mooney said it will take about six months before the center is up and running with the new technology.