Police Plan First Use of New Crime Center at Music Festival

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police plan to put their newest gadget to use this weekend, hoping to make the Beale Street Music Festival a crime-free event.

This weekend will be the first full rollout of the department's new Real Time Crime Center.

Officials said as the music festival begins, the Real Time Crime Center will go online.  All eyes will be on 42 screens in the center, allowing officers to keep a close watch on anyone who makes a false move.

The room will serve as the Memphis Police Departments command center, where investigators can track maps showing the last 15 crimes in the city.  If anything serious happens, they'll lock in on that incident.

Patrol officers can pull up that information on hand-held devices.

"There are two things that will really help them," Richard Janikowski said. "One, being able to do that data driven planning - looking at what's happened in the past and thus being able to predict where your trouble spots may be this year.  Secondly, being able to use video surveillance to be able to look at what's happening in the crowd."

Police say their biggest target is motor vehicle thefts.  The center will feed necessary information to hundreds of officers on patrol - from Traffic, to DUI, Uniform Patrol and Organized Crime

Officials said the Music Festival is a good place to start because they'll be monitoring more than 20,000 people.

The center will run around the clock starting in June.

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