Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $299,719)
This technology-focused project seeks to develop enhanced investigative capacity in Collinsville, IL - a smaller suburban city located in the St. Louis Metropolitan area with a police force of 45 officers. The focus of the project is to add surveillance and forensic technology capacity to enhance investigative outcomes in violent crimes. Given that Collinsville is in a large metropolitan area and intersected by several major highways, offenders in the area often cross jurisdictions making identification of individuals and their vehicles particularly dependent on good descriptions of neighboring agencies. To improve reliance on sometimes subjective suspect descriptions Collinsville PD proposes to use technology to identify felons in a more consistent and objective manner. In particular, the project will focus on fixed (6) and mobile (2) License Plate readers and cell phone forensic software. Officers will receive training in the technology and software purchased to ensure optimal utility. Combined these technologies are expected to lead to greater detection and apprehension of violent offenders and the technologies will provide and uncover evidence during the investigative process. Given the characteristics of Collinsville and its Police Department, the project is likely a good test case for examining how the investigative capacity of a police department is impacted and whether technology can be integrated in smaller agencies across the county.