A Jonesboro police officer deploying a mobile surveillance system at a county fair.

Revolutionizing Public Safety: Jonesboro PD’s Cutting-Edge Surveillance Strategy with The RATT

Enhancing Real-Time Crime Centers: Jonesboro PD's Success Story

In the evolving landscape of law enforcement, real-time crime centers (RTCCs) are becoming indispensable tools for many police departments. These centers integrate various technologies to provide comprehensive surveillance and improved operational intelligence. The Jonesboro Police Department (JPD) in Arkansas stands out with its innovative approach, recently bolstered by the inclusion of The RATT (Rapid All-Terrain Tower), a mobile surveillance solution that has significantly enhanced their capabilities.

The Growth of Jonesboro's RTCC

Jonesboro PD’s journey began modestly but has evolved into a sophisticated operation. Initially equipped with a few cameras, the department has expanded to a network of over 700 cameras, including traffic cameras and license plate readers. This extensive coverage helps monitor high-crime areas and manage city-wide events more effectively.

In the summer of 2022, JPD added The RATT to their arsenal. This hitch-mounted mobile surveillance tower can extend up to 30 feet, providing a flexible and powerful surveillance option where fixed cameras are impractical. “We use The RATT on a short-term basis to get extra eyes in an area where we don’t want to commit to putting up a camera,” said Wade Shapp, RTCC video analyst at Jonesboro PD.

Advantages of The RATT

The RATT has proven to be a game-changer for JPD, offering advantages that traditional surveillance tools can’t match. Unlike drones, The RATT provides continuous power when connected to a vehicle, eliminating battery concerns. Its lightweight design—around 100 pounds—makes it easy for a single officer to deploy quickly.

Shapp highlights the practicality of The RATT, noting, “Before The RATT, we didn’t really have anything like this. Drones are great, but they don’t fit all our needs. The RATT, in many ways, functions like a tethered drone without the limitations.”

Real-World Impact and Versatility

JPD’s deployment of The RATT has had a tangible impact, particularly during large events. For instance, at the Northeast Arkansas District Fair, attended by nearly 60,000 people, The RATT was instrumental in creating a secure perimeter. Its elevated perspective allowed officers to monitor the crowd efficiently and respond promptly to incidents.

Streamlined Operations

The RATT’s ease of use extends beyond deployment. Shapp explained, “It’s super easy to share the live feed with officers and administrators on the ground, ensuring everyone is on the same page. We avoid the usual connectivity issues and lag that come with many mobile devices at crowded events.”

This streamlined capability was crucial during a recent incident at the fair involving a missing child. The rapid deployment and effective scanning of the area facilitated a swift and safe resolution. Similarly, The RATT’s footage was pivotal in identifying a suspect involved in a late-night altercation, leading to a quick apprehension.

Exceptional Support and Integration

The successful integration of The RATT into JPD’s RTCC operations is also attributed to the excellent support from Critical Tech Solutions. “Their customer service is outstanding. When we have issues, we talk directly to the person who made the equipment,” Shapp praised.

The RATT not only complements JPD’s existing surveillance infrastructure but also sets a new standard for mobile, versatile, and efficient surveillance solutions in law enforcement.

For more detailed insights, read the full case study on Police1: How Jonesboro PD Improved Its Real-Time Crime Center Operational Intelligence

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