Look at program, people who helped crack highway shooter case - KCTV5


Look at program, people who helped crack highway shooter case

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As the case against Mohammed Whitaker, the accused highway shooter, moves through the court system, officials are revealing more about the Law Enforcement Resource Center and the people who helped crack the case.

LERC, as it's called, isn't housed at police headquarters, instead it's got its own home. Inside crime and intelligence analysts are no longer segregated and spread out across the city, but instead under one roof working together.

The timing of the integration of the groups couldn't have been better.

"I have high confidence we were able to stop more things from happening," said Maj. Michael Corwin with LERC.

On April 7 Kansas City, MO, police announced to the public there was a dangerous situation in the metro. Police believed someone was intentionally shooting at cars on the roads, particularly highways.

What the public didn't know was that it was analysts, and intelligence officers and the Law Enforcement Resource Center who recognized what was happening.

"We integrated our crime analyst with intelligence analysts and case support folks, so we have one global view of the crime," Corwin said.

In short, the department consolidated all of its resources when it comes to crime data and put them under one roof. Everyone under that roof works together instead of having them separated around the city, focusing on just one patrol division at a time.

"It's really awkward that it's been separated, but it's the way most police departments have done it for years," Corwin said.

It was only a month into the new way of doing things when the shootings started. Corwin, the man behind LERC, said there's no way of telling how long the shootings might have continued with things being done the old way.

"We had a team that was looking at aggravated assaults and they found the pattern early on and it enabled us to act quickly," he said. "Timing is everything and I'm so happy we were able to do that."

Corwin put the vision of LERC into action and for the next couple weeks his people worked around the clock to identify a suspect. While he credits the department as a whole for finding and arresting Whitaker so quickly, he believes the case was proof positive that this way of policing will pay off.

"We hoped to accomplish to be able to be better crime fighters," he said.

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