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Council to hear from police chief on citywide camera system

Chief Gina Hawkins also is expected to give a fourth-quarter review of her department and an update on crime in the city.


Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins is scheduled to give a citywide camera operating system presentation to the City Council on Monday night.

Hawkins is also on the agenda to provide council members with a fourth-quarter review of her department and the status of crime in the city. She last presented the council with an update in November.

To date, there are 30 license plate readers installed at traffic lights in the city with a planned 22 more to be up and running in the near future. That will give police an overall 52 license plate readers in its system.

Also, 118 non-license plate cameras are operating within the city, allowing employees with the department’s Crime Information Center to monitor specific areas of Fayetteville. 

“We are driven by data, incidents and trends. That helps us guide the direction that we’re going,” Hawkins said in an interview Thursday. “We look at the data and say, ‘Where do we go this week?' Or, 'What’s the trend going to say about where we go or where do we move?’”

Hawkins said the data has provided the department with great results.

Housed inside the Crime Information Center are a few crime analysts and a lot of technology “that correlates the incidents and names to help them focus on areas and certain people,” the chief said.

“That’s where we monitor all our cameras throughout the city,” Hawkins said of the center that operates from the Police Department. “That’s where we’re able to look at, pull up overlapping maps from that location. And it’s really drilled down on data on crime trends. So it’s kind of a science what we do. We’re really extremely professional in the aspect of how we strategize."

She said her officers are excited about the license plate reader system because it gives them alerts when they're on the road.

“Like, ‘We just saw a stolen vehicle in this area.’ So they’re like, ‘Let me head in that area (for) a vehicle associated with that crime,’" she said.

Hawkins said it has been nice to see officers excited about the camera technology, which can likewise show those back at the center where their cars are patrolling in town. Incident locations also are pinpointed on the center's maps.

The City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the upstairs conference room of the FAST Transit building on Franklin Street.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com. 

Fayetteville, Police Department, Police Chief Gina Hawkins, City Council, cameras, crime