NBCPhiladelphia.com- Nefertiti Jaquez
Camden police show off their new, high-tech crime fighting room featuring dozens of surveillance cameras monitoring the city. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez takes us inside.
A high-tech lab is helping one local police force combat crime.
"We have this tremendous amount of new technology which can make us smarter and quicker in how we do things," said Camden City Police Chief Scott Thomson.
The real time crime center is stocked with giant monitors displaying the output from 121 surveillance cameras stationed throughout the city.
Located at police headquarters at 800 Federal St., the lab operates 24 hours a day assisting investigators by providing quick access to information about crimes through databases and allowing them to quickly identify potential suspects seen on camera.
Plus the center is helping officers stop crime before it occurs.
"What these officers are doing," Thomson said, "They are walking blocks on the camera."
When suspicious activity appears on the screen, the force sends units to the scene to prevent a crime from happening, he said.
"This is helping us get in front of crime," Thomson said.
The center, which was developed over the past 30 months, already helped crime to drop in the city. Police say, 800 fewer crimes occurred in Camden in the past year.
"We're down 25 percent in murders," Thomson said. "We've got overall crime down 14 pecent across the city."