OXFORD, Ala. (WIAT) — For about a month now, the East Metro Area Crime Center has been open in Oxford and officials tell CBS 42 Reporter Hillary Simon that the numbers are showing they are already making a difference.
From shoplifting to homicides, all sorts of cases are investigated under the crime center.
You have a melting pot of different individuals with different specialties. The building has been open for a month, but the actual crime center has been functioning since January and officials say crime is already down by 19%.
Sgt. Bobby Yancey, director of East Metro Area Crime Center, said, “I think the favorite thing is connecting one agency with the other where years ago that would never happen. They wouldn’t know an agency an hour and a half from here had the same case they have so it’s the networking aspect.”
Officials say this is a game changer not just for Oxford- but the state.
Yancey continued,” It’s the timing in which cases are solved that would take an investigator several weeks to get leads on a case. We’re getting them in rapid time.”
Workers of different specialties and backgrounds work under this new metro area crime center including some who have experience in jobs outside of law enforcement.
Kevin Mitchell, crime analyst and IT specialist for Oxford PD, stated, “This experience has been pretty cool. Melding technology with law enforcement what we’re doing in the concept that we have put together is pretty revolutionary. Most police departments don’t have the technology we’ve been able to incorporate that leads to solve crimes a lot faster.”
The digital and online aspect is a big part of investigations. Social media posts are constantly being updated to inform the public which helps them solve crimes. Officials at East Metro Area Crime Center says this is initiative is saving lives.
Mitchell continued, “We have an impact every single day, potentially taking a criminal off the street that could victimize somebody is a good feeling everyday.”
The crime center has partnered up with 23 agencies, but on any given day, you will see at least 11 different agencies here.