OCT 2013 – Redlands Police Department Spearheading a New Approach to Combating Crime

As crime rates increase and the challenge to prevent, and solve crimes intensifies, Lt. Travis Martinez and the Redlands Police Department are engaging in high tech solutions for both business and residential robberies and burglaries. GPS technology is proving to be a significant tool in combating and quickly solving thefts in real time.

The Redlands Police Department has developed a program that engages the use of electronic tracking to assist in the apprehension of criminals as they commit criminal acts.

The tracking device uses a small thin flex board that can be embedded in cash packs or secured to property, such as safes, TVs, projectors, cash registers, etc. When moved, it activates and links up with three components; radio frequency, a cell tower and most importantly GPS. It immediately alerts the dispatch center as well as officer’s cell phones through an instant messaging system. Officers can then observe a location map of the device and suspect moving in real time all through a secure internet based system.  GPS tracking systems offer an affordable and immediate tool to apprehending those committing criminal acts.  The technology can also be used in electronic stakeouts baiting the criminals and capturing the criminal in the act with tangible evidence. Catching the criminal in the act with goods in hand aids in the prosecution of cases.

The cost of each tracking device is $450 per unit with a $30 per month service fee.

Lt. Travis Martinez states “The devices have been responsible for the arrests of 67 career criminals since January 2011 for crimes such as armed robbery, commercial burglary, vehicle burglary, bike theft, laptop theft, metal theft, and wire theft.  The Redlands Police Department has seen the value of deploying the devices at a cost of only $2 a day per device the first year and $1 a day every year after.  With the increase in residential burglary, the Community Policing Bureau created a program where Redlands Residents can pick up a device from RPD and deploy it at their household while they are away on vacation.  The program is designed to add another layer of security as well as give the homeowner peace of mind while they are enjoying a vacation.   If business owners would also like to participate in the program, they can fund a device that can be deployed at their business 24/7.”

Currently, the Redlands Police Department is conducting an electronic home surveillance program. Launched in September, before leaving for an extended period, Redlands Residents can check out a small tracking device from the PD. It can be hidden in valuable items that might be attractive to burglars. Once the resident leaves,  the device is activated. Any movement will trigger the device sending a signal to the Police Department. Using the GPS tracking software, officers can track the device and quickly locate the stolen property and the thief. The devices used were purchased by the department using asset forfeiture funds. There is no cost to participate in the program. However, the PD is asking for voluntary donations to help offset the monthly service fees.  To learn more about this innovative program, visit www.redlandspolice.org.

Businesses interested in purchasing tracking devices that can be deployed at their business 24/7 should contact Lt. Martinez.  If you have any questions, Lt. Martinez can be reached at (909) 557-6583 or tmartinez@redlandspolice.org.