FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NYPD'S REAL TIME CRIME CENTER
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, February 12, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Any police detective will tell you that in solving crimes, time is of the essence. The faster they can gather evidence and pursue leads, the better chance they have of apprehending the guilty.
"That's why last summer the NYPD unveiled a brand-new investigative nerve center that dramatically accelerates the way crimes in our city are solved. Called the Real Time Crime Center; it is staffed 24-hours-a-day by officers who can quickly access data about crime scenes, crime patterns, and potential suspects. They can then immediately send that information to detectives as they are responding to an incident. Within minutes, investigators also can tap into sources ranging from transcripts of 911 calls to a database of tattoos and nicknames of people with criminal records.
"To our knowledge, a centralized information system of this scope and speed has never been used to fight crime before. And it means detectives no longer have to waste precious time at their precincts gathering and analyzing records and other data on their own. Now they are free to do their investigative work out on the streets.
"Let me give you an example of the Real Time Center's effectiveness: In December, a man walked into a midtown Manhattan restaurant, pointed a gun at the store manager, and robbed him of the day's receipts. As the man fled, the manager noticed he had the word 'sugar' tattooed on the back of his neck. Investigators punched that information into the Real Time Crime Center's database of tattoos and came up with a potential suspect with a violent criminal history. The suspect's mug shot was later picked out of a photo lineup by the restaurant manager. Days later, the suspect was apprehended by police and confessed to the crime.
"In this case, information that might have taken weeks to uncover - if at all - was quickly obtained and put in the hands of detectives who swiftly made an arrest. Initially, investigators have used the Real Time Crime Center mainly for shootings and homicides. But as a result of its success, it will now be used to investigate all major crimes, including rapes, robberies, stabbings and kidnappings.
"We are also expanding its databases and improving the way information is relayed to detectives in the field, by supplying them with 175 new laptop computers that will allow them to tap into the Real Time Crime Center while they're on the go. And that's going to help us catch criminals faster than ever before.
"Last week, we received more evidence that our crime fighting strategies are producing big results. The Preliminary Mayor's Management Report - a snapshot of the City's service delivery from July through October 2005 - shows not only encouraging gains in the economy, our schools, and our quality of life, but also that police officers are responding more quickly to crimes in progress, and major felonies in public housing and in our transit system are on the decline. For the past four consecutive years, there were fewer than 600 murders in the city - something that hasn't happened since the early 1960s. And since 2001, overall crime is down more than 20%.
"With the Real Time Crime Center's new enhancements, we expect to build on the incredible success we've achieved over the past four years and make the safest big city in the nation even safer."
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958