KCPD unit focuses on crime forecasting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There are people who you probably don't even know exist that are fighting crime in Kansas City every day. It’s called the Law Enforcement Resource Center and we were asked to keep its location undisclosed.

About 18 months ago it started as a concept of Chief Darryl Forte – it was scribbled onto a bar napkin and now police say it’s working.

It's not as futuristic as the popular Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, but it’s close.

Referred to as the LERC for short, it combined all law enforcement analysts from across the metro in one place.

"We have four radios that I listen to all the time," LERC Operator David Dykhouse said.

The operators can see all 911 call notes hear all of dispatch traffic. They also monitor hundreds of cameras scattered across the city.

"I listen for hot calls that come in or calls that I can provide information to the officers to help them when they get there," Dykhouse said.

The goal is for an operator to find information and immediately radio it to the officers on the scene within 3 minutes of a call. This recently happened when an operator was looking for details about an arrest at a local bar.

"And as he's looking at that person’s picture, he realized the name he was being given didn't match the department of revenue photo that we mined and he found out that he had a non-identical twin and as he mined that information and found that photo. They were lying about who they were giving their twin’s name avoiding the thousands of dollars’ worth of warrants," Captain Scott Caron said, Assistant Division Commander for the LERC.

It was a team of officers who analyzed crime patterns who helped find the man caught for shooting at people in the Grandview Triangle.

"It was one of our analysts that identified the pattern as they were reviewing some of the assault offenses that had occurred," Captain Caron said.

For the first time in department history, all of these teams are working together and they know this is no movie-- this is real life.

"I like it. It's new and we are still growing but I think we've had some good success stories," Dykhouse said. 

Right now, the LERC is trying to intercept crime. As it develops, the officers hope they can begin to forecast crime. 

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