Graham Police Department introduces new technology to combat crime

A new crime-fighting tool is helping Graham police organize their crime data and pool their resources.

The Graham Police Department serves over 17,000 residents citywide, but often faces challenges due to a lack of resources and available officers.

“We have to cover an area of ​​about 10 square miles and may need four to five officers covering everything at once,” said Lieutenant Josh Payne of the Graham Police Department.

To help, Lt. Payne said, the department has leveraged existing technology to create a new system that helps collect all the data in one place.

“One place: information on incidents, hot spots, complaints, what community policing projects are going on,” explained Lt. Payne. “Instead of having to look in several different places, everything is in one place.”

It's called the Patrol Supervisor Dashboard and allows officers to add or look up information on a specific topic. Lt. Payne said it helps supervisors better respond to citizen concerns.

“It's a tool for them to then deploy their officers more effectively,” he said. “Instead of just doing random patrols, we have a consistent list of areas and targets and specific problems that we want to address.”

The dashboard has already helped the department fix things like traffic violations, speeding, and even dangerous accidents.

The department's current focus is on using the database to track down people who break into vehicles, the agency said, after more than 20 vehicles were broken into or stolen over the weekend.

“When we look at our historical data and see all of these car break-ins, they are counted as all of our hotspots,” said Lt. Payne. “And so our supervisors know exactly: we've had so many calls in a certain area, now I'm sending my officers to those areas.”

Lt. Payne said the goal is to have a good historical record of things they have addressed, what they are currently working on and what they should keep in mind for the future.