SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The New York State-supported Crime Analysis Center in Syracuse has a new name and it’s about to grow. As of March 1, it’s now known as the Central New York Crime Analysis Center.
Housed in the Syracuse Police Headquarters, it was first created in 2008 to support Onondaga County. In 2019, it began serving Madison County and just this year, began serving Oswego County. Now, it’s expanding even more.
A $700,000 renovation will triple the center’s size when construction is complete at the end of April, allowing the center to solve more crimes even faster and become a fulltime, real-time analysis center.
The cost is shared among the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Syracuse Police Department, Onondaga County, Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office.
“New York State and the Governor’s office paying about $330,000,” said Mike Green, the head of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. The rest, he says will be shared among those local partners.
Right now, there are 17 staff members at the center. The expansion will help increase that number to 26 and add nine more analysts.
“It’s really helped us recover evidence, it’s helped us identify people, locate people,” said Derek McGork, Deputy Chief of the Syracuse Police Department.
To help identify even more people, the new center will have a video wall with eight, 55-inch screens. “An incident that’s dispatched, they can hop on a cop’s camera platform, take a look at suspect vehicles that may be leaving the scene,” said McGork.
“People who are committing crimes don’t stop at any borders, they don’t stop at the border of the City of Syracuse and say I’m not gonna go into DeWitt,” said Green.
That’s where these 10 centers across the state come in, working together. For instance, analysts can link a missing person in Buffalo to a train station in Rochester. In the fall of 2019, analysis at the center helped Onondaga, Oswego, and Seneca counties arrest three people responsible for 29 commercial burglaries.
“Over the last two years, the centers went from in 2017 working on about 27,000 requests to last year working on 50,000 requests,” said Green. Not because crime is increasing, but because the center’s value is.
In Syracuse, analysts recently helped find a shooting suspect. “A vehicle was involved that was dispatched, the camera operators were able to jump on and get suspect vehicle description and get the license plate on the vehicle,” said McGork. “We determined the license plate on that vehicle didn’t belong on that vehicle, it belonged to another vehicle, which ordinarily would create a delay in that time.”
There’s another piece to the expansion:
“The state, through Governor Cuomo, has invested heavily in tools for these centers. For example, tools where if there’s a crime that happens, people committing that crime are using social media, allow the analyst to be able to analyze that social media information and capture it and use it, every one of the law enforcement agencies in the state doesn’t have to go out and buy those tools,” said Green.
The ultimate goal is to connect the entire state together.
“People commit crimes throughout a county, they commit crimes throughout New York State, they commit crimes throughout the country,” said Green. “This just makes sure we have the ability, so Oswego County, Madison County, Onondaga County, but the entire network is hooked together.”
A network of 10 centers covering 31 counties in New York State and more than 350 law enforcement agencies.
The center will also help any law enforcement agency on request. It’s not limited to the three counties it covers.
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