22 Jan 13
The Atlantic City police department hopes to enhance public safety with a complete overhaul of its aging law enforcement utilities. Using a $3.5 million grant provided by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in September of 2011, Atlantic City police intend to invest in major upgrades to its current computer aided dispatch system.
As reported by the Press of Atlantic City, local officials have been extremely impressed with the results of a system implemented by police in East Orange, New Jersey. Those upgrades included a network of security cameras, crime tracking programs and global positioning software. The new resources have allowed East Orange police officers to better monitor and respond to crimes.
“This really gave a bird’s-eye view. It can be hard to envision. To see it, it’s a very impressive model, and it works,” said Police Captain Bill Mazur.
East Orange law enforcement reported nearly a 70 percent drop in violent crime over the first five years using their new system. Homicides plummeted as well, dropping from 25 murders a year to just five in 2012. Atlantic City officials hope their police department will witness similar results.
According to the New Jersey State Police 2011 Uniform Crime Report, Atlantic City reported a 19.2 violent crime rate per every 1000 citizens. This past year, the coastal town saw 18 homicides, as well as the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man by police around the Stanley Holmes Village public housing development. That incident, still under investigation, has drawn criticism to the poor quality of the city’s security infrastructure, specifically citing the facility’s inoperable security cameras.
“It’s unacceptable they weren’t up. But at the same time, we have to move forward, and this is correcting a lot of wrongs in a lot of places with this system,” City Councilman Marty Small told the Press of Atlantic City.