Tech talk: Closer look at new technology being used by DC Police Department

WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has been busy this year with more than 240 homicides and over 3,000 robberies in the District.

Last week the police department started using SPIDR Tech, also known as the Specialized Police Intelligence and Data Resource.

“It’s tied into our report management system. We obtain the victim’s contact information, hopefully phone and email if they have it, and then it auto sends a message to the victim providing pertinent information regarding whatever crime that reported,” said Carlos Heraud, Assistant Chief of the Investigative Services Bureau.

SPIDR, which was founded by former law enforcement officers, brands itself as a way to help public safety agencies with leveraging data, increasing efficiency and saving money.

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“The first message is at the time the officer takes the reports, within 72 hours, it’ll provide the victim [and] the officer’s name, the report numbers, our contact information from the Metropolitan Police Department, and then also several links that may be of use to the victim,” Heraud said.

The system will also alert victims when there is an arrest in their case.

“Before it was business cards or write it down on a piece of paper, and I think we all know what may happen to a business card days or weeks after a crime’s occurred. So, I think ultimately it’s going to help the victim having their information at their fingertips should they need to follow up on anything,” Heraud said.

The city is paying an undisclosed amount for the service.

“I think it’s well-invested money, again, being able to provide our victims the information at their fingertips,” Heraud said.

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