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GCN : March 2015
[BrieFing] New Jersey officials recently opened a regional information-sharing center that will allow state and local law enforce- ment agencies to access technology and information, with the ultimate goal of reducing crimes and improving the quality of life in Newark and surround- ing communities. The Corr-Stat Real Time Crime Cen- ter (RTCC), launched in Newark in De- cember 2014, “increases the response, analysis and support police officers need at crime scenes,” according to a blog from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Information Sharing Environment (ISE). Its mission is to develop a network that will gather, receive, analyze and distribute real-time tactical intelligence and support to law enforcement agen- cies operating within the Corr-Stat Region, which represents more than 80 cities along the Route 21 Corridor of Northeast New Jersey, from Jersey City to Paterson, and including Newark. Housed at the Newark Police Depart- ment headquarters, RTCC will function as part of a broader information-shar- ing initiative among the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Cen- ter, the Newark Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. RTCC will allow investigators to ac- cess and analyze data from a range of agencies through a single portal. With a unified data access point, users will more readily “find connections be- tween the all crimes suspicious activity reports, other data such as arrests, shootings, carjackings and incident information,” noted a fact sheet from the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police. RTCC’s technology was created from equipment already owned by various local law enforcement agencies, said officials at the unveiling, some of which was acquired for last year’s Super Bowl and other major events. They used tools such as GitHub- based Project Interoperability, a start-up guide for information interop- erability for government employees, and the National Information Exchange Model, a standards-based approach to exchanging information, according to ISE. New Jersey chose Newark as RTCC’s base because a disproportion- ate amount of crimes, including 20 percent of burglaries across the entire state, are committed in the Corr-Stat Region, according to the fact sheet. The RTCC technology is part of a broader information-sharing initia- tive among the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center, the Newark Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, according to an announcement to the media of the launch. “RTCC will save money, allow for en- hanced use of technology and equip- ment (both at the state and local levels) and support the regional partnership of state, county and local law enforce- ment agencies.” Prior to RTCC, there was no auto- mated or formalized way to capture, analyze and share information on crimi- nal activities or suspicious behavior across New Jersey, limiting an inves- tigator’s access to data and ability to identify patterns and trends in criminal activity. “Bad guys aren’t hindered by juris- dictional boundaries. They’re not hin- dered by information silos. They don’t hoard information. Actually quite the opposite, they love to brag about what they do,” Newark Police Chief Anthony Campos told NJ.com. “So why were we always? You know what? We no longer are.” “This is going to be the first time in this country that we’re looking at crime as a region,” said Col. Rick Fuentes of the State Police. Officials are in talks to expand the collaboration initiative to New York, added Fuentes. The Smart Policing Initiative, a Bu- reau of Justice Assistance-sponsored initiative supporting law enforcement agencies in building evidence-based, data-driven law enforcement tactics, has provided funding to 30 law en- forcement agencies to help them with their technology initiatives. • New Jersey opens regional Real Time Crime Center 10 GCN MARCH 2015 • GCN.COM BY KATHLEEN HICKEY Housed at the Newark Police Department, RTCC will function as part of a broader information sharing initiative with New Jersey law enforcement agencies. 0315gcn_006-015.indd 10 3/5/15 12:41 PM