It's called the RACR division.. like so many organizations in government or law enforcement, it has a cool acronym. RACR stands for ‘' Real Time Crime Analysis and Response''. It's a unit of the LAPD that works inside a very secure, high tech command post on the edge of Downtown LA.
24 hours a day 7 days a week, and yes even today, on Christmas, they are operational. It's a way for the police to keep a big picture look at Los Angeles and Southern California. If a robbery spree breaks out in the Valley, say, they can track all the calls on their huge electronic map on the wall. If there's a bombing in the Middle East they can watch it on one of the 24-hour cable networks and possibly move resources to deal with anticipated responses here for example. If there's a shooting at LAX and they need 100 more officers there, RACR people can move others from say, the Harbor, to fill in to make sure existing calls for service are still answered.
They can watch you try to climb over the fence at the Hollywood sign, keep an eye on hundreds of intersections through Transportation Dept cameras, and use their own cameras to monitor say, public places, or housing projects or other locations they ‘d like to watch. There is certainly a ‘'big brother'' air about all this, but in this day and age we almost take video surveillance for granted. They say they don't track individuals and don't keep demographic data, it's more like an electronic chess board that helps move piece around and keeps an eye out for trouble at the same time… The men and women that work there have access to a lot of info, from secret intelligence to what they call ‘'open sources'' , i.e, Google and Fox News.. It's an interesting look at a different kind of policing. And by the way, if you're looking for a job, the LAPD is hiring… they wanted me to mention that. Go to joinlapd.org You make 50 grand while you start out in the Academy!