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Winter Springs pays to make sure crime doesn’t

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Winter Springs’ police force just bought their way into a high-tech addition to their law enforcement arsenal called the fususONE. It’s a cloud-based crime-scene-mapping camera software system that can connect police cameras and other cameras throughout the city into one feed.

“It is a real-time crime center at our disposal on our computers and our phones,” Winter Springs Police Chief Matthew Tracht said at the Aug. 22 City Commission meeting. “We could be anywhere in the world essentially, as long as we have a cell signal, and run command and control of whatever operation or whatever incident is in the city to all our officers out there.”

Tracht came to the Commission hoping to use money from the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program to pay for the city’s part of the system. Winter Springs would be partnering with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and other cities in the county to purchase the system.

Mayor Kevin McCann had already met with the chief about the system, which would cost the city $15,620.

“The chief made it abundantly clear that he would be willing to sacrifice a great deal to get the software,” McCann said. “He thought that it was that important.”

“This is not an Earth-moving amount [of money],” McCann added. “It looks like every other municipality in the county is moving forward doing it. All the chiefs appear, as I understand, to be aligned in their moving forward with it. Each of these law enforcement professionals absolutely believe in this and that’s why they’re working collaboratively in that direction.”

Oviedo Lt. Travis Cockcroft said that Oviedo is not getting the fususONE software at this time.

In June, Tracht reported that the city’s crime rate was down 5% from the year before. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation crime data, both property crime and violent crime have dropped significantly in the city over time. Though the city’s population has nearly doubled since 1985, crime has dropped by nearly 20%, and is 66% less than its peak in 1992. The city’s overall crime rate is more than 50% less than U.S. and Florida averages.

The Commission voted 5-0 to pay for the system.

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