WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - A stolen car was spotted going down the wrong way on Bishop Street from just one of around a thousand camera feeds in Waterbury Police's real-time crime center.

"In policing, it doesn't work without collaboration," Waterbury Chief of Police Fernando Spagnolo tells us.

It's staffed with detectives and specialized units.

Their partners, like parole and probation, also have people in the center daily.

With the technology at their fingertips, Chief Spagnolo says they've been able to track crime trends even faster.

"With these partnerships and this information, we're able to track patterns and make determinations that we never were able to before about what type of criminal activity is happening and where it's happening," continued Chief Spagnolo stated.

Also, solve crimes faster.

Chief Spagnolo says the center has been key in a number of investigations since starting up in February, even helping a murder case.

"Provided us the ability to obtain arrest warrants for assault one with a weapon, to identify people who are responsible for shootings in our city, to identify people who were responsible for auto theft in our city. We've been able to make really good cases," explained Chief Spagnolo.

The center has been a big help in patrol response, but while the center has added many eyes around the city.

The department still is working to have a strong force on the ground.

In this case, ten feet off the ground. The state's only mounted unit is used year-round not only to help with community relations, but help deter crime.

You'll see them around shopping centers trying to keep shoplifters at bay and prevent car break-ins.

"They always say presence is your first deterrent. There's no bigger presence. You could see these guys coming a mile away. Plus, we have the advantage of being able to see over and through the cars, whereas people driving on a car or on foot don't have that height advantage," Waterbury Police Officer Dan Jones added.

Chief Spagnolo hopes to keep improving the technology in the crime center and to be able to have more staff day-to-day.


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