MIAMI (CBS4) – There is a new way authorities are reducing crime across South Florida. It is called hot spotting, and it’s the latest way police identify a problem and then use what they’ve learned to solve it.
“I’m able to filter it by the type of crime. When I click on one of these locations, I can see actual robberies,” said Lieutenant John Carpenter, of Miami Police’s Problem Solving Team.
They use old fashioned police work with the help of new technology with software called Crime View.
“It is definitely a great tool in identifying hot spots and target areas. It helps us to go out and find the crimes so we can stop them,” said Sergeant Carpenter
The system stores police calls and then sorts them anyway they need. CBS4 went along with police as they searched the north end of Miami looking for a burglar who has been targeting the area for weeks.
They narrowed down the search with reports of burglaries and descriptions of the potential burglar.
“When it comes down to it, you have to see where people are,” said Sgt. Carpenter.
First, CBS4’s Jorge Estevez and officers found a driver, late at night, sitting in a car in the industrial section of the north end of Miami. It is considered a suspicious activity in an area where there have been a rash of burglaries.
“We don’t want him here if there is no valid reason for him to be here,” said Officer Milligan who spent hours with officers patrolling the streets.
Together, they stopped suspicious people including a homeless woman who fit the description of the kind of person breaking into homes. But after a thorough search of her belongings, nothing appeared to be stolen.
These kinds of efforts are what residents living in the area appreciate.
“We have taken a hit with burglaries in homes and some burglaries with occupied dwellings where we they have gone in there with people in there,” said Frank Rollason who lives inside an area with increased crime. “It is great because they concentrate on a particular problem that area is having.”
A few days after the police operation, they had a break through. The technology led them to find Shepard Campbell in a warehouse district. As police approached him, he attempted to conceal something, which turned out to be burglary tools. Police confiscated red bolt cutters and booked him – something that may have taken longer if it had not been for the hot spotting software.
Sgt. Carpenter is grateful to have an added tool to help his team do their jobs with the hopes of making the streets real safe.
“If you handed me every single robbery that happened in the city of Miami in a month, you’d have a stack this tall and for me to be able to actually sort through and get them. It would take hours,” said Sgt. Carpenter.