Crime-fighting and technology intersect in Hartford


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — On the streets in Hartford, you may notice a camera here or a camera there mounted to a light post. But, inside the Capital City Command Center within the Hartford Police Department, Sergeant John O’Hare says they have about 750 electronic eyeballs keeping the city safe.

“A recent example, we had a concert here, Dead and Company at the XL Center, and we started receiving anonymous tips from around the country,” Sgt. O’Hare said.

Someone was threatening to shoot up the concert. Immediately, Hartford police teamed up with the FBI and monitored the streets around the concert along with boots on the ground, but then they started digging online and looking into the threats.

“We had information that this party was not even in the state, and we act upon that,” said Sgt. O’Hare, “We utilized our federal partnership to determine his location, but we still took it as a credible threat.”Related Content: Social media and web intelligence helps Hartford police prevent crimes

Kathleen Mullin is the director of the criminal justice program at the University of Saint Joseph. She said the alleged Florida shooter had violent rants on YouTube that were reported to the FBI, but that they should’ve also been reported to the local police.

“But if you had reported it to the local authorities, you may have given the local law enforcement a better chance to identify the kid,” she explained.

Her brother is a detective in Coconut Grove, Fla. where the suspect was arrested. He was helping to secure the perimeter around the school. On Thursday, the shooter’s mental health record came out in court.Related Content: Newtown organizations respond to deadly school shooting

Mullin stated that if someone had reported the Instagram posts to the local police, they could’ve started an investigation immediately and would have uncovered the rest of his history.

“The school disciplinary action and suspension and expulsion, violence against the girlfriend, are all signs that when you add them together you are dealing with a kid who is a powder keg.”

The police department encourages you that if you see a volatile Facebook or Instagram post to turn it over to the police. The Hartford Police Department has a tip to text program. Just text TIP716 and your message to CRIMES (274637).

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