Richland crime down thanks to new technology

RICHLAND, Wash. -- The KEPR Crime Tracker is taking a closer look at the success behind a new kind of policing in Richland.

Overall crime has taken a dive this year and it's all thanks to a new type of crime tracking technology.

Rayna Austin feels safe bringing her family to Howard Amon Park.

"I bring my kids here a lot. It's kinda relaxed and you don't have to worry too much about crime and it's a pretty view," she says.

And for the most part, she's right about the crime.

At the beginning of this year, Richland PD worked with Microsoft to put a new crime tracking system into use.

"Smart Force" allows RPD to share information seamlessly and faster than ever before.

"Smart Force is just one example of an application that really doesn't exist any where else in the world," says Captain Mike Cobb.

As a result, overall crime in Richland is down significantly.

Theft, car prowls, and assaults have taken around a five percent drop compared to last year.

But police say they've seen the biggest drop crimes that affect you the most.

Car thefts and malicious crimes like graffiti and break-ins are down almost 30 percent since last year.

"Right now, we're very optimistic," Capt. Cobb says.

And with many crimes trending downward, officials say they're attributing to good police work and good relationship building in the community.

"I'm grateful to all of them because if I'm in trouble, they're the first ones I call," Rayna says.

So what can they do better?

Richland says it could work towards mastering the smart force system with the belief that crime will keep dropping.

Kennewick and Pasco have been using a limited version of the software through Richland PD.