How Richmond Police is using new technology to track down criminals

How Richmond Police is using new technology to track down criminals

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Law enforcement Division (RPD) is working with new technological innovation to beat every thing from visitors violations to shootings in the city, and is now seeing outcomes.

Through a criminal offense briefing before this month, RPD Performing Chief Rick Edwards declared the department’s use of license plate viewers and firearm tests, both of which he said could pace up criminal investigations.

“It delivers unbiased investigative prospects and will help remedy all varieties of crimes,” Edwards stated about the license plate readers.

The license plate viewers are operated via a software identified as Flock. The solar-powered cameras sit on prime of black poles and capture “snapshots” of each individual auto that passes by it. It does not record 24/7 as a surveillance video clip would, but it does put perhaps crucial facts at the finger guidelines of officers.

“Our officers can use their metropolis-issued cell phones to get alerts of stolen autos, Amber Alerts for missing children, or they can use it just after a crime to see which automobiles have still left the scene,’ Edwards claimed.

The division has invested in 36 flock cameras throughout the town. The section did not specify the exact area of the cameras, but say they are strategically put in large crime neighborhoods. 8Information observed two of the cameras in the Fairfield and Mosby Court docket regions.

“It’s a actually important tool and power multiplier for us,” Edwards mentioned. “It’s a portion of our approach of leveraging technology to battle crime.”

In addition to Flock, the section is also utilizing a NIBIN machine, which stands for Nationwide Integrated Ballistic Details Community. The network is a partnership with the Bureau of Alcoholic beverages, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and presents screening abilities for each firearm discovered at a criminal offense scene.

“Every time a semi-automated pistol or rifle fires, the cartridge is ejected,” Edwards explained. “We match the microscopic aspects, just about like a fingerprint, and it back links to other crimes,”

RPD has tested 1,611 firearms so far, and officers say the technological innovation has currently led to an arrest in an officer-included shooting. In December 2022, an officer was shot at within a patrol motor vehicle in the city’s southside. Minutes afterwards, officers responded to a crash. By NIBIN, the department was able to connect the two incidents.

“While officers were investigating the crash, they observed a gun that was consistent with the casings they discovered,” Edwards explained. “Within a person day we had been equipped to and url them together and we ended up in a position to demand Kevon Johnson with tried capital murder of an officer.”

Detectives consider this system could velocity up other investigations by months. Edwards said this could make a large big difference, considering that each and every day is essential during these investigations.

“We will need quick turnaround on people instances, and with our possess NIBIN equipment we’re in a position to get that,” he stated.