New Mexico’s largest city is blanketed with 10,000 cameras, license plate readers along some of the busiest roadways, and special listening devices that hone in on the sound of gunfire — all part of a technological net of sorts that Albuquerque authorities say has been an integral part of addressing high crime rates and record homicides. With the push of a button, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller revealed the city’s Real Time Crime Center behind what had been a wall of opaque glass just moments earlier, the Associated Press reports.
Video feeds from city intersections and bus stops played out simultaneously on a massive screen that covered one wall as individual stations were outfitted with numerous smaller monitors. There were feeds from local news stations and social media streaming as well as access to databases that included criminal records and facial recognition.
It’s meant to be one-stop shopping for Albuquerque police officers, providing real-time information as they respond to calls throughout the city. The police chief and mayor say it’s working, They want state lawmakers to double down on the investment and expand its reach to neighboring communities. With more than $50 million already spent over several years, Albuquerque wants the Legislature to put in another $40 million so authorities will have eyes on more parts of the metro area and other police agencies can access and share data. Keller said during a tour Friday that the technology and the ability of police and prosecutors to build better cases is helping make the community safer. “We have a long, long way to go, but we’re going the right direction,” Keller said.