16 Oct

Schenectady PD turns to technology to help offset expanding staffing shortage

From WRGB CBS 6 News / By Tom Eschen / October 15, 2023

The Schenectady Police Department staffing shortage is getting worse -- they're projecting to have 15 vacant officers' positions in 2024, almost 10 more than last year. As we reported Thursday, they've now requested $3.6 million in overtime to compensate, but they're also hoping technology can help make the city safer.

It’s called "Patrolfinder" the city working with a local company Transfinder to collect data for officers. It's been in the works since January, and officials believe it can help make the department use its resources more efficiently. As officers are driving, they will know if there's a pending call, or previous calls in last 24 hours. They will be reminded if there's a gun in a house, a recent crime in a residence. The long-term goal is to give officers their own dashboard, to look at their own performance over the course of a night, but also focus on hot spots instead of safer neighborhoods, which don't need as many patrols.

Eric Clifford/Schenectady Police Chief:
“They might need a police car once every two days, then there's other areas with higher crime that might need it every 12 hours. Once that neighborhood stabilizes, we'd have the ability to tell officers you don't need to go there every 12 hours anymore, you can go back to two days.”

Gary McCarthy/(D) Mayor of Schenectady:
“With the full implementation of this we're going to be able to track and make available to the public so that they've had a patrol car have gone down their street police have been proactive in their neighborhood addressing problems and hopefully creating that level of deterrence.”

Mayor McCarthy says this technology when implemented, can provide similar data for the fire department, code enforcement and other departments too.

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