Real Time Crime Center influences other Arkansas police stations

Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 5:39 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With several hundred new cameras at their disposal, Jonesboro police are keeping a close watch on would-be criminals in real-time.

More than 700 cameras have been installed throughout the city, their video feeding into the Jonesboro Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center.

Mayor Harold Copenhaver said the city’s investment of millions of dollars is already paying off.

“Eleven hundred cases last year alone were utilized by our cameras,” the mayor said. “That’s huge!”

JPD’s Senior Video Analyst Rachel Anderson keeps an eye on the city by monitoring the cameras.

“We listen to the police radio, and we watch the CAD, which is a list of all the 9-1-1 calls that are going on in the whole county right now,” Anderson said.

Chief of Police Rick Elliot said this all started two years ago when 12 sky-cop cameras were installed in high-crime areas.

“One year later, in one particular area of town, we saw a 32% reduction in the crime rate,” Elliot said.

In addition to catching crimes when they happen, Copenhaver said this technology improves things like traffic, pedestrian safety, and insurance claims/accidents. He said they can help out other communities as well.

“From Brookland to Trumann to Lake City,” the mayor said. “Partnering with them because they don’t have the resources that our community has.”

The mayor said the center has received some attention from state senators and congressmen.

“They’re helping us to find funding regionally and federally to help assist us so we can provide those services in a partnership regionally as well,” Copenhaver said.

Cameras are placed at traffic intersections, neighborhoods, and all 25 parks in Jonesboro, according to the mayor and the police chief.

They said it could not have been possible without the help from local banks and other key community partners. Elliot said he’s proud of the growth the center has made, but they are not done yet.

“Not all of our traffic lights have been converted over to smarter technology,” he said. “There is still a ways to go, but it is a step in the right direction.”

“Jonesboro is the safest city in the Delta,” Copenhaver said. “It’s how we can say, ‘Criminals, if you come here, you’re going to get caught. We want you out of our community.’”

The mayor said he is requesting a revenue bond for a new facility for the crime center at the city council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7.