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Upgrades To Cincinnati Police Tech Aims To Help Solve More Crimes

Bill Rinehart

The Cincinnati Police Department has been undergoing technology upgrades in an effort to provide more transparency, efficiency, and ultimately, solve more crimes, officials say.

Special Projects Coordinator Kristen Cosgrove said a few pieces of hardware have already hit the streets and forthcoming upgrades could help the public submit anonymous photos and videos to police.

"What the investigators can do with this application is they can send an anonymous link to any witness at any time that say recorded something (or) had a photo of something and that person can then upload anonymously to that specific case," Cosgrove said.

Family members of victims with unsolved cases said "street code" that encourages people not to snitch about crimes hinders investigations. Several of them addressed City Council's Law & Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday.

Other upcoming upgrades include creating a "one-stop-shop" for  streamlining evidence to one central place where police can have access to it, and increasing the frequency with which dashcam footage is updated.

Earlier this year, the police department was equipped with new body cameras and hardware that enabled automatic recording if an officer draws their gun or Taser.

The upgrades are just one of the ways the police department is using technology to help solve crimes.

"This technology is that failsafe for the situation in which, perhaps, an officer was unable to react quickly enough to activate that body camera in a surprise situation, for example," Cosgrove said.

ShotSpotter is another example. 

ShotSpotter uses sensors  — 20 per square mile — to help police pinpoint where gunshots originate from. Sensors are currently installed in several Cincinnati neighborhoods, including West End, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton, Avondale, Price Hill, Fairmount, Millvale, Moosewood and Evanston.

Reporters Ann Thompson and Jay Hanselman contributed to this reporting.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.