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True stories from dispatchers, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel who use New World public safety software to help them save lives, protect communities and increase efficiency


In Case You Missed It

Take a look back at this article to find out how the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office in Illinois, was able to use information sharing and data integration to bring a burglary ring to justice.


Burglary Ring Busted by Law Enforcement

When cutbacks in 2015 resulted in a reduction of officers on patrol throughout Kankakee County, the county experienced a rash of burglaries.

For three weeks, burglars ransacked homes in search of guns, jewelry, electronics, cash and anything else of value.

"It got to the point where you were either a victim of the burglaries, neighbors with someone who had been a victim or afraid of becoming a victim," according to Becky Powell, Investigation's Officer Manager for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office.


Unique Tattoo Helps Law Enforcement Identify Body

When a body was found in the Kankakee River in the spring of 2016, public safety professionals worked quickly to identify the remains.

What was known about the body at the time of discovery was that it was a badly decomposed black male who had likely been in the water for up to 10 days. Fingerprint detection was impossible due to the decomposition, which meant public safety officials had to look elsewhere for information.

Using the approximate height, weight, age and race of the body, authorities searched through a national missing person's database in an attempt to identify the man, but found no matching results. National databases such as Forensic Filer and TLOxp Transunion are costly and can take months to generate leads.

However, a break in the case came when the county coroner discovered a rose tattoo on the body. This tattoo, which was located on the neck, was enough of a distinguishing characteristic that the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office would have it in their records and corrections system if the man had ever been in custody.

Trent Bukowski, IT Director for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office, searched through his public safety software database to see if any records of previous inmates had a neck tattoo matching the description. Bukowski had a match within minutes.

Identifying Bodies Using Software

Using the scars, marks and tattoos module inside the corrections system, Bukowski generated a list of 68 current and former inmates who had neck tattoos. Based on the location of the tattoo on the unidentified man's body, the list of possible matches was brought down to eight. By examining the photos of these eight individuals with neck tattoos, investigators were able to match the unidentified man's tattoo to his booking photo found in the corrections system.

With the identity of the body known, the man's family was contacted and officials were able to close the case. Drowning was the official cause of death for the man found in the river, and drugs were also found in his system.


Looking Back at The Call

From devastating fires to terrorist attacks to fugitives on the run, the content from The Call shows the dedication of public safety personnel throughout the United States.

These stories feature public safety officials from Snohomish County, Washington, Kankakee County, Illinois, and Greenbelt, Maryland. While each location is vastly different from the next, the common thread of serving the public is what is highlighted in each piece.

We are looking forward to sharing more public safety content in 2017!


Bogus 9-1-1 Call Leads to Change in Law

Heinous crimes often times result in changes to the law. In 2010, one of those crimes happened in Kankakee County, Illinois.

A call came in to 9-1-1 regarding five bodies in a trailer. The dispatcher who took the call sent two deputies to the scene. The deputies rode together and traveled at 102 mph down rural roads to the alleged trailer. But they never made it.

The vehicle the deputies were traveling in went off the road when its tire blew out and rolled five times. Deputy David Stukenborg's spine was shattered in the accident and rendered him paralyzed from the chest down. The other officer suffered non-life threatening injuries.

According to Trent Bukowski, IT manager for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office, the woman who made the call did so to anger her ex-boyfriend. She knew there were no bodies in the trailer and that no crime had been committed, but wanted her ex-boyfriend to get into trouble.

When the accident involving the deputies was discovered along with the fact that the call was bogus, authorities reacted quickly to discover who made the call.

Unfortunately, the call was placed by a disposable cell phone and was not trackable by traditional methods. However, there was one location where that number was previously tracked: The corrections system used by the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office.

Bukowski said the number from the disposable cell phone was entered into the corrections system when the woman who made the call visited her ex-boyfriend in the county jail. This visit took place months before when the two individuals were still a couple.

"Since our records and corrections systems share data automatically, it makes it easier for us in multiple ways," Bukowski said. "If we hadn't entered that number into the system when this woman visited, we might not have ever found out who made that call."

After the deputy was paralyzed responding to the prank call, the Illinois General Assembly put a new law into effect Jan. 1, 2011. The new law states that a person found guilty of making a false 9-1-1 call will be charged with a Class 4 felony. This crime is punishable by one to three years in prison and carries a $25,000 fine.

This is a stark contrast to the previous law, which classified the same crime as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in jail. The woman who made the prank call that paralyzed the officer was fined and served 364 days in the county jail.


Patrolling Greenbelt Using Data

Increasing patrol in areas of high crime is nothing new for most jurisdictions.

According to CAD Manager Mike Dewey of the Greenbelt Police Department, patrolling crime hotspots is a priority. Ensuring other areas of the city are also covered efficiently is something they do as well through the use of their mapping software.

Dewey said he monitors patrol patterns in real time, which helps to identify areas of high saturation. High saturation can indicate areas known for higher crime rates, which leads to an increase of patrol. It can also show where several police cars are following a response to a call for service.

Being able to identify these areas empowers everyone from supervisors to dispatchers to officers in the field to see where each police unit is located.

From there, officers have the ability to move from areas of high saturation to areas of lighter coverage. This maximizes the police department's coverage of the entire city and provides effective coverage for a community.

"Using the software to watch where officers have been recently allows the shift to function as more of a coordinated unit," Dewey said. "Without this ability, it is much more likely that areas in the community would inadvertently get less efficient coverage."

The mapping capabilities of Greenbelt's public safety software also aids in faster response times. For instance, when a call comes in to the dispatch center but has not yet been assigned, officers in the field can see that the call has been queued up and can start driving in the direction where there is a need for service.

In taking this proactive measure, officers are en route faster and arrive on the scene quicker once the address is provided or units are assigned.

"The capabilities of our software system definitely result in faster response times," Dewey said.

Video: Increasing Efficiency with the Greenbelt Police Department


Police Keep Community Safe Using Mission-Critical Data

When a 9-1-1 hang up call comes into a dispatch center, call takers immediately call back to determine whether help is needed or not. But when dispatchers call back and don't get an answer, they know there could be a problem.

When dispatch personnel with the Greenbelt Police Department received a 9-1-1 hang up call in early 2016, they immediately called back and were connected to a fax machine.

Dispatch searched the number in their computer aided dispatch (CAD) system and was able to come up with an address associated with the number so that an officer could head out to the location. The first officer routed to the location quickly investigated the situation and individual on the scene.

According to CAD Manager Mike Dewey of the Greenbelt Police Department, that officer on the scene immediately identified that the individual at the apartment was possibly undergoing some kind of mental health issue or under the influence of drugs.

While on the scene, the officer accessed premise history through his mobile data terminal in his patrol car and was able to see that a known Phencyclidine (PCP) user lived on the premises.

"PCP is a hallucinogenic drug that has a tendency to cause violent outbursts," Dewey said. "PCP can be an extremely dangerous addition to any call for service, and in this scenario, the lone officer was able to back out of the environment and call for sufficient additional resources."

According to Dewey, without the data sharing between the records and mobile solutions in the police department's public safety software to provide instant prior history information, this situation could have been dangerous for the officer and the individual who made the 9-1-1 call.

Instead, additional units responded to help the officer, which ensured there was no injury to the officers or the individual under the influence of drugs.

"Without enough officers to effectively handle the scene, you risk injury to everyone involved," Dewey said. "Our software helps us prevent these situations from happening."


Burglary Ring Busted by Law Enforcement

When cutbacks in 2015 resulted in a reduction of officers on patrol throughout Kankakee County, the county experienced a rash of burglaries.

For three weeks, burglars ransacked homes in search of guns, jewelry, electronics, cash and anything else of value.

"It got to the point where you were either a victim of the burglaries, neighbors with someone who had been a victim or afraid of becoming a victim," according to Becky Powell, Investigation's Officer Manager for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office.

The burglaries took place in Kankakee's neighboring counties as well, and all information from those incidences were entered into Kankakee's records system.

This collection of shared data along with tips that were called in helped generate documents in the records system so that law enforcement officials and other individuals involved in solving the case had instant, accessible information.

"The criminals involved in the burglaries knew that we had a reduction in force," Trent Bukowski, IT Director for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office said. "They took advantage of the lighter patrol that was going on throughout the county."

A break in the case came when the burglars were caught on a security camera stealing from a Walmart store in Kankakee. The surveillance footage provided a description of the offenders and the two vehicles they were driving.

What was especially notable about this footage was that one of the burglars was seen wearing a Chicago Bulls t-shirt in the video. This helped investigators tie the individual to a residential burglary that took place later in which that same shirt was found at the scene.

These descriptions were entered into Kankakee's records system and alerts were put out so that all officers in the county and surrounding areas knew what the suspects looked like and what cars they were driving.

Once officers were aware of this vital intelligence, they arrested the individuals as they left the scene of a burglary. The individuals were caught with items stolen from houses and items with tags on them from Walmart, which were purchased with stolen credit cards.

With the information sharing and data integration capabilities of the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office's computer aided dispatch, records, mobile, field reporting and corrections public safety software solutions, these criminals were able to be brought to justice.