Local News

NC Law Enforcers Testing High-Tech Crime Fighting

Posted January 6, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— Law officers all over the state hope a new computer system will prevent a tragedy like the deaths of those officers from happening again.

North Carolina is taking part in a pilot program for the computers that can tell officers, at the touch of a button, whether a suspect has a criminal record. State officials are showing off the new technology at the state Capitol.

The system is state-of-the-art. Funding for what's being called the Criminal Justice Information Network came from Congress. NC alone received $10 million. Leaders at both the federal and state levels are hoping that this will improve safety for law enforcement officers.

What officers will be doing is calling up computerized criminal histories in their patrol cars. They will see photographs of the suspects in addition to criminal record information.

NC is the only state to receive this technology. Richard Moore, NC's secretary of Crime, Control and Public Safety, says it will help to have fast, accurate information on the small percentage of the population who are criminals.

NC Senator Lauch Faircloth secured the funding from Congress, and dedicated the project to those officers killed in the line of duty.

Leaders admit that $10 million is not enough to fund the entire project. NC is the model in a pilot program.

Photographer:Mark Copeland