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Planning a Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC)? Adopting or renovating an existing space or building new, implementing a RTCC that serves you now in the future is more than allocating space for monitors and the desk and large video displays on the walls. You need to consider how all the pieces fit together to create a smooth operation for your officers. Consider:

  • Is your RTCC designed to handle the stress of real-time decision-making?  
  • Can your operators easily access all the data they need?  
  • Have you considered future security threats?  

If you're not sure about the answers to these questions, keep reading to explore why ignoring upfront planning and design can be costly, not just financially but also in terms of its impact on public safety. 

With over 40 years of experience designing and implementing Mission-Critical Control Rooms, Evans provides unique expertise in creating Real-Time Crime Centers. Our approach considers all of the key elements that contribute to the ideal RTCC environment, including technology architecture, operational planning, and operational/infrastructure flexibility. 

A Word about Real Time Crime Centers  

There are now more than 123 RTCCs across the US, and this number is growing. 

Think of a Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) as a high-tech hub for law enforcement agencies. Its main goal is to ensure law enforcement and public safety teams have all the critical tools and technologies at their fingertips to ensure crime is being reported accurately and effectively to the boots on the ground. 

Every RTCC is unique, yet they share a common purpose: aggregate surveillance data throughout a city to build a real-time view of criminal activities. RTCCs use various technologies, including CCTV, ALPR cameras, gunshot sensors, and social media monitoring. Thanks to all this technology, police can improve their focus on keeping everyone - officers, citizens, and the community - safer by responding to criminal activity. 


Our Real-Time Crime Center Design Experience  

Evans builds control rooms for Real Time Crime Centers. This includes the integration of Technology such as video feeds or data storage while accounting for operator ergonomics, acoustics lighting, and sight lines.  

Our proven methodology, quality standards, and 40 years of experience in mission-driven environments make Evans the best choice for developing and implementing a Real Time Crime Center.  With us, you will get an enduring, high-quality control room tailored to stand the test of time. Whether you are currently operating an RTCC or aiming to build one, we have you covered.  



Main factors to consider when designing a Real-Time Crime Center 

Operational & Technology Infrastructure Flexibility: 

A key premise of an RTCC is to respond to real-time situational issues by accessing multiple data sources and experts and agency stakeholders. An added variable is that each specific operational scenario may require a different approach or response. The sources of information within the RTCC can be both static and dynamic from an IT perspective. The information sources would vary between read vs. write, secure vs. non-secure and would likely vary by agency (stakeholder). RTCC personnel must be able to view video surveillance tools and search multiple databases, including intelligence resources, simultaneously. Lastly, flexibility of content access should be a key consideration to maximize the flexibility to add or remove operational content.  It is important to map the operational inputs and outputs within the RTCC as it becomes a key driver in the planning and design process.  

Architectural Design 

Lighting is critical in any control room environment. Improper lighting is one of the biggest factors that contribute to shift operator fatigue. The lighting solution should be room specific and provide uniform illumination levels throughout the RTCC while taking into account the AV elements and operator positioning in order to minimize glare, but also allow for future re-configurations without impacting the lighting plan. At Evans, we offer multiple solutions for complex illumination required in any integrated operations center. Similarly, acoustics are an important consideration within any RTCC environment. The level of noise can vary depending on the level of activity. Verbal communication is important to understand the big picture in an RTCC and makes noise attenuation more critical. RTCC personnel should be able to communicate easily with each other without interfering with their ability to communicate with field units. This is addressed early in the design by minimizing sources of noise as well as designing and specifying materials that will maximize absorption and minimize reverberation. 

Audio Visual Considerations  

The ability to aggregate many systems into a singular pixel space is essential to maximize the situational awareness and cognitive performance of the operator. An example could be large video walls. It is not critical for an RTCC to have a video wall, it can be useful for visiting personnel/command personnel, providing a global view of what is occurring and how field units are responding. The size and type of display technology, however, will depend on the specific operational requirements and data distribution (technology infrastructure) of the specific RTCC.  

While there are evolving AV options available, it is important to consider the operational and budgetary requirements to design and specify the adequate solution specific to the RTCC operational model.  

Ergonomics in a Real-Time Crime Center 

The RTCC environment is frequently an open-style room, allowing the operators to engage easily with a person next to them and share information or tasks. In typical 911 environments, operators take calls from their console position and will stay there during the entire shift. In an RTCC, information sharing between operators and the specific console layout will need to reflect this exchange of information. Verbal communication and movement by RTCC personnel are vital, so the environment should support it. Again, your design will vary depending on your specific situation.  

Real-Time Crime Center Control Room Security Trends 

What data RTCC collect and store:  

  • IP video monitoring system data  
  • Video surveillance data (also known as CCTV)  
  • License plate recognition data 
  • Automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) data 
  • Intelligent vehicle tracking 

Data security is a paramount priority for all RTCCs right now. As technological advancements continue to reshape surveillance systems, the need to fortify defenses against potential breaches and cyber threats becomes increasingly crucial. In response to the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, RTCCs are implementing robust measures, from encryption protocols to regular security audits, to ensure the integrity of the data they handle.  

How can Evans Help You Build a Real-Time Crime Center?  

Our understanding of the vital elements impacting mission-critical operations is unmatched. We apply our industry expertise to consistently provide control room solutions that drive change and process improvements across the industry. Our clients work with us because we keep an eye on market trends, environmental demands, and longevity requirements.  

We have teams that deal with the entire range of Real-Time Crime Center implementation including consulting, operational planning, control room design, project management, console design, console manufacturing, installation, warranty, ongoing support, and Evans Care. We are your ideal partner to build the most optimal RTCC.  


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