Strategic Decision Support Center coming to 16th/Jefferson Park District, will help police deploy resources
by BRIAN NADIG
The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District will be using a variety of resources, including a new Strategic Decision Support Center, to fight crime this summer.
Many of the city’s districts already have what it is commonly referred to as a police station’s “nerve center.” Plans call for the 16th District’s center to be installed within the next few months, and its role for the district was outlined at the April 2 meeting of the Gladstone Park Chamber.
16th District commander Maureen Biggane said that the center will include monitors in which officers will be viewing footage from police observation cameras in the district, with the ability to strategically focus on those areas where crime patterns have been identified.
The district has about 15 to 20 observation cameras but that total could double this year as several Northwest Side aldermen have pledged funds to pay for additional devices, Biggane said.
Officers in the SDSC in another district were able to identify a vehicle connected to a string of armed commercial robberies, some of which had occurred in the 16th District, by viewing footage from POD cameras, and a suspect was later arrested, Biggane said.
Also in the centers, officers have access to a specialized software program that gives them “real-time” crime data analysis that can be used to deploy officers as a pattern is developing, Biggane said.
The district also has been assigned a civilian analyst, who works in the 16th and another district, Biggane said. The analyst puts together a variety of reports based on crime patterns and calls for service which help determine how the district’s resources are used, she said.
In addition, the district has been receiving assistance from the city’s large gathering task force and a summer mobile unit assigned to the Northwest Side.
The task force recently inspected a social club in the 3300 block of North Harlem Avenue, where on March 20 a man reportedly was shot in the foot as he was leaving the establishment, which is being operated by a suspected gang member, according to police.
The club reportedly had been in the 17th (Albany Park) District before relocating to Harlem, Biggane said.
The mobile units this year are being operated on a regional basis instead of citywide and are expected to help the address gang issues which “overlap”from neighboring districts into the 16th District, Biggane said.