Dallas Police Monitor Hundreds Of Arrestees Via “Hook Books”


Hundreds of recently arrested Dallas offenders are being monitored through “virtual hook books” maintained by the Dallas Police Department, says the Dallas Morning News. Police have made at least 700 arrests since January by using color-coded charts to track offenders at the street level. “In Dallas, we have a huge ocean of arrestees and criminals,” said Officer Joe King, who pioneered the concept. “What we’ve done is taken a small piece of that ocean and set it aside and created a small pond so we can place small criminal groups under the microscope to better study and track.”

The concept has spread to include electronic hook books for robbers and drug dealers. The police auto theft unit will soon roll out one tracking auto thieves, chop shops, and auto theft rings. In the Dallas narcotics hook books, hyperlinks on police computers take officers to police reports related to offenders. Another link goes directly to a state criminal database of phone numbers, addresses, and related offenders. Another link goes to aerial photos of drug houses. Easy-to-follow organizational charts indicate connections between offenders. Police regularly check every name in the hook books for arrest warrants. If an offender is wanted, officers actively hunt for the suspect. The watch lists generate an alert on in-car computers any time an officer encounters an offender. The hook books are accessible throughout the department, although they don’t work yet on in-car computers. Instead, an interactive map is available to show where burglary offenders with active warrants were last seen. “It really helps support the beat officer,” said Sgt. Louis Felini, supervisor of a plainclothes unit that targets burglars and robbers. “You’re putting a face out there to remember.”

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