Behind the scenes look at St. Louis’ Real Time Crime Center

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ST. LOUIS – There are no 10-minute breaks or days off for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center.

“They are consistently being used,” Detective Chris Gwaltney, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said.

There are more than 2,000 cameras monitoring the St. Louis City area day and night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I believe that it is the epicenter of a lot of investigations,” Gwaltney said.

Gwaltney has worked with the RTCC since it started in 2015. To go along with the 2,000 cameras, there are also more than 350 license plate readers. Since then, more than 4,000 arrests have been made, along with the recoveries of 2,733 stolen cars and 842 guns.

“Without the technology we utilize, it would cripple our department not having it,” Gwaltney said.

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Here’s how it works. If a crime happens in the area of an RTCC camera, police officers can reach out to the RTCC to get video. Detectives from the RTCC downloaded more than 6,500 videos in 2023 to use as evidence in their investigations.

“You have to have the passion for technology and the passion for solving crimes to do it,” Gwaltney said.

There are only 12 officers assigned to the RTCC, but the small operation has proven to play an integral role in the police department’s investigations.

“I believe in the center quite a bit,” Gwaltney said. “I do everything I can to try and help the community with the development of the real-time crime center.”


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