SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - Southaven police are now using traffic technology to fight domestic abuse. The same system Southaven Police use for accident reports now tracks domestic abusers. It's going to drastically change the way cops deal with repeat offenders.
"We deal with domestic situations probably on a daily basis," says Lt. Mark Little.
Before this month, anytime Southaven cops responded to a domestic call, they had no way of knowing if the people involved had a history of violence. Now, the state and the police department are using traffic accident technology, called Report Beam, to resolve that problem.
"We started using it October 1st, but we've been training for the last six to eight months," Little says.
Officers file all domestic reports into the accident report system. It's then available to every law enforcement agency in the state.
"If we have a domestic violence situation with John Smith we can enter that in and see if John Smith is up here from Jackson and has two prior cases," he tells abc24.com. "I know his convictions. I can also look up to see if he has orders from other areas."
Before, it was anybody's guess.
"If that person just moved here from another part of the state, basically he might slip through the cracks," says Officer Greg Smorowski.
That's no longer possible. The new technology makes a cop's job easier, and also helps victims.
"If you know that about them at the forefront, then you know which way to go to investigate new crimes," Little says. "The state is basically transparent now."
Little thinks eventually every police department in the state will be using the technology