Case Study: Public Safety Goes Real-Time in the Big Easy


The City of New Orleans has created a “Real-Time Crime Center” to proactively prevent and respond to public safety issues.

Name of Organization: New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Industry: Government

Location: New Orleans, LA

Opportunity or Challenge Encountered: As is the case with many sizable cities, New Orleans has focused on static data, anecdotal information, and previous crime patterns to anticipate crime.

In addition to the police, the city’s response to crime and other public safety incidents frequently includes the fire department, EMS, and New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as other city agencies and public safety partners. With so many agencies involved, situational awareness is critical. During an incident, effective coordination among these groups can be a considerable challenge, delaying response time when minutes or even seconds can make the difference.

The challenge is not only to understand past crime patterns, but also to gather real-time intelligence and analytics on what is happening throughout the city.

How the Opportunity was Met:  To provide access to real-time events, the city of New Orleans set out to create a Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC) that leverages on-demand intelligence and analytics. The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security (NOHSEP) operates the 24/7 RTCC, which leverages technology to provide critical information to first responders in the field and to assist with investigations of criminal activity or quality of life concerns. The RTCC has been in operation since November 2017.

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The RTCC serves as a continuously operating command center supporting state, local and federal public safety officials. RTCC analysts at the command center access public and private cameras, license plate readers and other technology to provide public safety officials with real-time intelligence, assessment, and analytics.

The city selected the Motorola Solutions CommandCentral Aware platform to integrate with its PremierOne Computer-Aided Dispatch System and serve as the backbone of the RTCC. The solution helps better support real-time operations from the command center by combining voice, data, and video into a single, integrated position. CommandCentral Aware also integrates with PremierOne CAD.

Benefits of this Initiative:  Greater agency collaboration, centralized intelligence data gathering, coordination, and command, and strong returns on the city’s investments. As related in the case study, the system “provides real-time insight into 911 calls for service, so officers can be redirected if it’s determined there isn’t an immediate need for them at an incident.

This allows for more effective use of patrol resources and can help ensure that personnel available to respond to a more critical incident.” The system also provides data analytics that can prioritize situations developing around the city in real time and provide that information to field personnel.

To the RTCC has been assisting on an average of 25 cases per week. The City is now expanding the RTCC operations by installing an additional 225 cameras; integrating license plate reader software and connecting sensor data to monitor flooding water levels during natural disasters.

(Sources: Motorola Solutions, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness)

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