TRACY, Calif. (KTXL) – With the Fourth of July just around the corner, the fireworks in Tracy are heating up, and police have a new tool to help them figure out where illegal fireworks are being set off.
“I hear them every night,” said resident Mark Pena.
“Actually sounds like a bomb,” said resident Woodson Ray Kyle. “They set it off, then they get on the bicycles and they take off. It actually shook the windows of our house.”
In March, the department began using Mark43, a digital platform that takes information from dispatch and police reports and analyzes crime patterns.
“It does a lot of analytics, and as fireworks start up, it is able to give us real-time data as to where the fireworks are taking place,” said Tracy Police Department spokesperson Diana Ruiz-Del Re.
According to data collected by the police department just within the past couple of weeks, one neighborhood just north of 11th Street and Corral Hollow Road is one of the hot spots for fireworks.
“In the past few years, it’s been really bad,” Pena said. “Fourth of July it’s, whoo, it’s like a war zone here.”
From that data-driven information, police are then able to allocate resources just by looking at the clusters of calls.
“All of those calls for service are illegal, 100%,” Ruiz-Del Re said.
Tracy police say it’s no longer a guessing game for them on where things are happening, which saves them time and allows them to put officers in much-needed places even faster.
“We are able to provide those services a little better to that specific community, to curve whatever illegal behavior, criminal behavior is taking place,” Ruiz-Del Re said.