ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For nearly two years, the Albuquerque Police Department has quietly been at work on a controversial law enforcement strategy in which live camera feeds are piped from more than 100 cameras around the city into a video command center at police headquarters to provide officers in the field with real-time information.
On Friday, officials unveiled the “Real Time Crime Center,” a renovated wing on the third floor of the main police station Downtown that features a bank of 16 television screens — with a 90-inch monitor at its center — and eight work stations where a mix of sworn police officers on light duty and civilian APD employees gather information from dozens of public and private databases.
That information — which could, for example, include whether someone is a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — is relayed to officers as they make their way to a call for police service. And in the event that a call is taking place in an area where one of the cameras is, staff in the new crime center can manipulate the camera to watch what’s happening.
The department expects the new system will help fight crime, improve officer safety and lead to fewer police shootings.