San Francisco is on the verge of transmitting real-time information from a slick communications center to police on the streets, reports the city’s Examiner. Beat officers have long complained that information that helps them talk to a witness or run down a suspect is either unavailable or gets lost in translation. But now a San Francisco crime data center is being developed that instantly shares information between local departments in the Bay Area, state and federal agencies, and the officers on the streets. A similar system has helped reduce crime dramatically in New York City, and such a system is in place in Mesa, Ariz., former department of San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón.
On Friday afternoon, the creator of system, Lance Heivilin, was out walking the streets of the Tenderloin. “If you're not out actually touching the street and seeing what's really happening, technology isn't going to help,” said Heivilin. He recently left Mesa to work for the San Francisco Police Department and is director of the new Bay Area Regional Information Crime Center. Also, he runs a consultation firm, Fusion Center Concepts Inc., which developed a free crime-mapping system available to the public on the SFPD's website.