KCPD's new resource center could someday foresee crimes - KCTV5 News

KCPD's new resource center could someday foresee crimes

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

After two years in the making, the Kansas City, MO, Police Department now has a new resource center they hope will not only prevent crime, but foresee it.

It's at times like 2007's Ward Parkway Center mall shooting when police officers need all of the information they can get.

Back in 2007 when a gunman opened fire killing shoppers at the mall, Kansas City police didn't have a way to get multiple sources of crime data and suspect information all at once before heading to a crime scene.

But they do now. It's called LERC, the Law Enforcement Resource Center.

"They can cue that info. up and they can have all the facts and figures that they need, and they can send it through a terminal. So that before the officer gets there, they know what they are dealing with," said Police Chief Darryl Forte.

Set up much like an emergency operations center with city cameras and new software, LERC consists of several components. Instead of having crime data and suspect information in different locations, it's all under one roof.

There's also representatives from each patrol station in the metro.

"And if you had a problem in one division, that division may not have known about it. Now they are in one location together," Forte said.

"We've never had the integration of crime analysis and intelligence analysis together in one room," said Major Michael Corwin, the commander of LERC. "The crime is the what and the intelligence is the who and why."

In the beginning, LERC was just an idea and Corwin was its only employee. Now it's grown to 37 detectives, analysts and operators waiting on the officers' whim.

What patrolmen need quickly, LERC gets.

"Police departments aren't just responding to crime after it has occurred. My goal is to get out of the response piece, we're now into the interruption of crime, and eventually into forecasting crime," Corwin said.

The board of commissioners approved $1.3 million for LERC. Forte said the technology is great, but the department still needs the help from the community.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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