The Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC), a regional public safety hub at 20th and Johnston Streets in South Philadelphia, opened officially last week.
Seven years in the making, the $20 million project will centralize crime-fighting intelligence operations and facilitate information sharing between partners that include the Philadelphia Police Department, Amtrak and SEPTA Police, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The hope is that having all of these organizations in one room will keep the region safer.
The idea behind the 24-hour support center is that a public safety agency “can’t operate as an island,” said DVIC executive director Inspector Walt Smith in a February interview with Technically Philly.
Federal grants paid for $10.6 million of the DVIC’s cost and the city paid the rest, according to a release. The city and the federal government will split the $2 million operating cost each year. The DVIC will be staffed by about 135 people, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The DVIC was criticized in an October 2012 U.S. Senate report, which blasted the center for not being finished after six years. Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told the Inquirer that the Senate didn’t understand what the city was trying to build.
The Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, which handles tasks like video surveillance and management of police “tips” and the Police Department’s comprehensive crime database, relocated from police headquarters near Chinatown to the DVIC. It’s not clear what the Real Time Crime Center’s old space will be used for next, said police spokesman Lt. John Stanford.