WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH (ABC4 UTAH) Often, police react after the criminal activity. But what if they could see the crime coming before it happened?
In this Behind the Badge report we find out that’s exactly what the West Valley City Police Intelligence Unit is trying to do everyday.
Sgt. Jason Johnson describes the unit’s work this way. “We monitor police traffic. We try to be proactive. If something happens out on the street that we hear we start working that problem even before we are requested by patrol.” And Sgt. Johnson says those in the Intelligence Unit do that with computers, monitors, maps and high tech tools. “This is crime view – this provides is near real time intel of what is happening in the city.” “The next one over is mobile. How we keep track of what is going on in patrol right now.””This is an analytical program we share with several agencies in the state.”
Sgt. Johnson says computer programs available today are incredible crime fighting tools. “It is a game changer.” Still, the 21 year police veteran says its also about the people. Intelligence Analysts like Courtney Martin are constantly monitoring criminal activity and looking at data. And she and fellow employees also hold weekly briefings to discuss where crimes are happening in West Valley City. “It looks like we have a hot spot in one of our well known apartment complexes in our B 2.” Sgt. Johnson says some of the unit’s work involves analyzing data and following trends, and some of the work is more immediate. An example a robbery at a local fast food restaurant. “…he went somewhere and jumped over a wall – that could be right here, but we know the suspect went in this general direction.” Sometimes the unit helps guide patrol officers in an active pursuit.”We can now get a visual perspective to help establish a flight path…” And other times they will spend several days analyzing information in order to help fellow officers.
“If we can identify who is doing it or how they are doing it or where they are going to be next. That’s a huge chunk of what we do.”
Police are also sharing some of their tools with all of us. Anyone can pull up this crime map. www.raidsonline.org. Police want the information out to the public so they know what crimes are taking place and where.
To check it out just visit www.raidsonline.org