MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Gulf Coast Technology Center is training law enforcement from across the state. The nationally recognized center combines 18 law enforcement agencies under one roof.
The center teaches new and innovative ways to solve crimes. We’re not actually allowed to show you where the center is, but we can show you what’s inside, and how it’s changing policing across the country.
Commander of Mobile Police’s Cyber Division Kevin Levy said, “Learning from the things that work and learning from things that don’t work, we’ve totally revamped the way that we approach law enforcement especially with technology.”
Sergeant DJ Lowe with Montgomery Police was at the center training while News 5 was there. He said, “We’ve emulated a lot of our programs to model Mobile’s program actually down here in Montgomery.”
Sergeant Lowe said his department is currently working on their own version of “Project Shield” and they’re calling it “Star Watch”, a way for homeowners with video security cameras to share footage with police.
Sergeant Lowe said, “When we share data, we’re able to catch criminals, not only in our jurisdiction, but in others across the region.”
Technology at the center is also keeping police one step ahead of a national problem. Sergeant Lowe said, “There’s less and less officers on the street. Retention efforts are harder than ever and being able to use technology is a force multiplier.”
Commander Kevin Levy said, “We want to use information and technology to allow us to solve a case with fewer officers more rapidly. That’s our goal.” 19:25
With multiple law enforcement agencies in the same room, investigators can get answers faster, and while a lot of how it’s done is top secret, they did tell us this much.
Commander Kevin Levy said, “We also have the support mechanism to gather information and evidence from valuable sources to include our digital forensics lab in other arenas where we can use that information better and more strategically identify offenders in the community.”
The center has been open for a year and a half, and while they’ve already been recognized nationally, they’re not slowing down any time soon.
Levy said, “We do a lot of research and development and we’re always looking at new avenues for new and emerging technologies so that we can better equip our officers with the tools and the resources they need to catch violent offenders in our community.”
The Gulf Coast Tech Center hopes other regions in the state will soon create their own technology centers connecting law enforcement from one side of the state to the other.