TPD roll out with new technology that helps predict where crime could happen next

Local News

In an attempt to be proactive with crime in Topeka, police are using new computer programs that give officers a better idea of exactly where the next crime might happen.

Lieutenant Andrew Beightel has been fighting crime in Topeka for nearly 18 years.

The new “Geo-Fencing” program highlights where crimes happen most often in Topeka.

It also tracks where fellow officers are located around town.

Then it tells them exactly where to patrol to ensure the broadest coverage of the most dangerous parts of Topeka.

“Those areas are mapped out on the screen and all they have to do is look at that, and respond to prevent any crime from occurring,” said Beightel.

The department has found by just having police cars in a certain area it deters people from committing crimes in the first place.

Another new strategy for the department is “Geo-Dispatching”.

Dispatchers can see all the officers exact locations and pick the closest officer to call for help.

“We’ll dispatch whoever’s closer and the computer dispatch and our mapping software will give us turn by turn directions and E.T.A.’s,” said Communications Director, Melanie Bergers.

In the past, officers would call in whoever was closest.

Police Chief, Bill Cochran says even though they just implemented the “Geo-Fencing” technology, it has already come in handy.

“We’ve had cars that were literally across the street doing something and before the calls to dispatch comes on their computer and boom, they get sent because they’re right across the street,” said Cochran. “We’ve caught some armed robbers that way.”

Cohran says a lot of the officers are younger and are excited to use this new technology to help cut down on crime.

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