Federal grant money will help Bloomington law enforcement agencies invest in new software to fight crime.
Assistant city attorney Patricia Mulvihil told the Bloomington City Council Wednesday night the NC4 Street Smart computer program will help local law enforcement map crime in Monroe County.
Mulvihil represents the Bloomington Police Department, which is planning on using a Justice Assistance Grant to help pay for the new software.
The Bloomington Police Department shares the federal money with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. Both agencies decided to put their total $31,000 allotment towards the new system this year.
Mulvihil says the software’s main feature allows police officers to map, collate and have access to crime data in real time from the Mobile Data Terminals in their patrol vehicles.
“For example let’s say you’re constantly having problems here or you’re seeing a growth in one particular type of crime – you can know where to direct police officers, police resources, sheriffs deputies and figure out where our attention is needed most.”
But the grant only covers a small portion of the cost of Street Smart. Several members of the public voiced their concerns about the $150,000 price tag of the new program.
Mulvihil says the police department compared prices for several different systems and found the features of Street Smart were worth the cost.
The remaining $120,000 is factored into the budget for a new joint dispatch service to be used by both departments.
Mulvihil says the Street Smart program doesn’t represent an increase in data collection – it’s just more efficient.
“We collect all kinds of information now – it’s just a matter of being able to actually sift through that data and share that data with the other agency who helps up respond to a good portion of the incidents in Monroe County.”
The City Council approved the JAG spending unanimously.