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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three men, police said, were involved in a carjacking on July 15th in the City of Miami but when police tracked them down–they fled. At that exact moment, detectives at the Miami-Dade Police Department’s new Real Time Crime Center watched it all unfold.

“While we were there experimenting with this camera system we observed and were able to watch these subjects flee from RID detectives and we were able to assist in apprehending those dangerous subjects,” said Detective Romelio Martinez.

Police relayed the suspects’ location to officers on the ground and the three men were arrested–exactly why the department implemented the new system, also known as RTCC.

“As the largest police department in the Southeastern United States, this is a technology that will help keep the citizens of Miami-Dade County safer,” said Commander Jose Rivero.

The crime center is in its infancy so they only have access to the cameras in the Liberty Square housing project but, over the next few months, they’ll be utilizing public cameras throughout Miami-Dade.

“Ultimately the goal is we would have access to different public cameras that we have available”

With the new crime center, citizens themselves can keep each other safe as the center allows residents to send-in video, texts, or pictures of any crimes or suspicious behavior they want to report. That will be possible in a new app called COPA, or citizen on patrol application. That app will be available by January.

“We have an opportunity to really engage with the citizens of Miami-Dade county and providing us with leads,” said Martinez.

But police warn the app should not be used in emergency situations–that’s what 911 is for. The app could be an important collaborative step in catching bad guys quicker than ever before–with eyes-in-the-sky from the public cameras and eyes-on-the-ground with citizens help.

The new technology helped Miami-Dade police catch the three men involved in this case, but they are still looking for four other suspects. Anyone with information, contact police.

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