New crime operations center designed to catch crooks more quickly

VIDEO: Charleston police unveil new crime information center

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department says a new crime information and public safety operations center will help catch criminals more quickly.

The center, unveiled Friday morning, is located on the second floor of the police department.

Officials say it puts surveillance monitors and the employees who will watch them in the same room.

Police Chief Greg Mullen says that was not the case until now.

"All of that is a delay and what delay can be is it can be detrimentally in terms of safety. It can delay us catching persons who are doing bad things," Mullen said.

Mullen says now information can be relayed to officers on the street right after something happens.

There's a map that shows the exact locations of cops cars if they need to be notified.

"By the time a call comes out of the dispatch center we have an analyst that's watching the cameras that can see what may have happened in that particular area, relay it out to the officers," Mullen explained.

The chief says the information may be a description of a suspect or a getaway car.

"We're all again on the same sheet of music so that we can respond appropriately," Lieutenant Peter Farrell said. Farrell is in charge of the center.

Mullen says the center can be used for a lot more than fighting crime.

He says it will be used to monitor the Cooper River Bridge Run and would have been a great tool for monitoring the floods in October.

The chief says it cost $150,000 to build the center.

He says police departments in New York City, Memphis and Charlotte-Mecklenburg have similar operations.

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