News10NBC Investigates what happens in the most high-tech law enforcement room when someone is shot in Rochester | WHEC.com

News10NBC Investigates what happens in the most high-tech law enforcement room when someone is shot in Rochester

Berkeley Brean
Created: May 09, 2022 05:35 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — On average for the past 16 months, at least one person is shot in the city every day. Let that sink in for a moment.

So what happens in one of the most high-tech law enforcement rooms in New York when a gun is fired here? We can show you because News10NBC was there when it happened.

"So this board here is every 911 dispatch call that's going on in Monroe County," David Phelps told me standing in front of several large-screen monitors.

Phelps is the director of the Monroe County Crime Analysis Center at the Rochester Public Safety Building, one of 10 centers connected across the state. Their job is to find and verify information on crimes as they happen and share it with police investigating them. 

"If it's an address that we know, it's not uncommon to have a call come in for a stabbing or shooting and you'll hear the analysts go 'That's this guy. That's this guy,'" Phelps said.

That's what happened when I was here. The sound effect of ShotSpotter went off as Phelps was talking. 

"That was live!" Phelps said. "All right. So the sound you just heard was ShotSpotter."

ShotSpotter is the technology the city pays for that alerts police to a possible gunshot. Within seconds, the location of the shooting is pinpointed on the center's big screen. 

The technology captures the sound of the gunshots and when played over the speakers in the center it sounded like three rounds fired. 

The analysts, sitting in front of their own bank of monitors, are already searching the property information and looking for any hits on parole or probation ankle bracelets in the area.

"And so right now the police are being dispatched that call while she's actively trying to file do we know anybody about that location," Phelps said.

Brean: "And this is all this has happened in the past 15 seconds when that happened."

Phelps: "Yeah."

At this point, one of the large monitors shows the police blue light camera is on and scanning the scene. 

"So it's not uncommon that they will see suspects or other things. We had an event last week where the cameras actually pointed direction and a guy was murdered on the camera view and then they recorded it and captured that. And you've actually got video of the guy being murdered live," Phelps said. "And that's not uncommon, sadly."

This time, the camera shows the police arriving and the first officer going into the house. A News10NBC camera got to the scene a short time later.

"In this case, a gentleman is out cooking, grilling," Lt. Greg Bello said to our reporter at the scene back on April 14. "At least two people came up, multiple people came up and at least one of them shot him."

Bullets also hit a house that had three children inside. Police say they were not hurt. 

Brean: "So now we know somebody was shot in their legs. What are your people doing right now?

Phelps: "So we're still working on the location history and we're checking on GPS ankle monitor for probation or parole that may be in that area. That could be a lead in the case."

The analysts also found information about the house where it happened. 

Phelps: "Information was developed about people in the house that could be useful, that may or may not be. We'll share that with investigators."

Brean: "The information that your staff found, they've shared that with police."

Phelps: "We're in the process of making those connections now."

In the newest state budget, the state increased the budget for the crime analysis center system from $8.1 million to $15 million. 

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services said in an email "that dedicated funding stream will support existing staff, operations and technology, and provide for additional staff and new or enhanced technology and tools for analysts, including firearm and ballistic tracing equipment to allow law enforcement agencies to quickly collect, process, and analyze evidence to solve and prevent firearm-involved violent crime. The additional funding in this year's budget will pay for that equipment in the Monroe and other centers."

I checked with RPD. As of Monday, May 9, no one has been arrested in the shooting that happened while we were in the crime analysis center. Some of the extra money budgeted for the centers is to increase the center's ability to monitor social media.

On Thursday, News10NBC investigates how police use social media to catch a suspect or stop trouble from happening.


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