Before computers, many Dallas police officers carried a “hook book” filled with mug shots of criminals who worked their beats. It was an easy way to keep an eye on them in case they were wanted by police or appeared to be looking for more trouble, says the Dallas Morning News. Now hook books are making a high-tech return.
Officer Joe King came up with an idea to create color-coded digital charts of burglars arrested in his patrol division. Rather than relying on happenstance to catch burglars, officers employ the “virtual hook books” to spot targeted offenders. Red indicates there’s an active warrant out for the burglar’s arrest. Green indicates a habitual burglar. Yellow means the burglar is in jail. “It’s a way to track them,” said King, a 13-year-veteran. All seven Dallas patrol stations have been instructed to adopt King’s approach. Officials placed copies of the charts on the department’s internal Fusion Center Web site.