Pomona : Computer to Aid Police

Pomona police expect to have an easier time identifying and apprehending youths who repeatedly commit crimes after the City Council's approval of the purchase of a personal-computer tracking system.

The $17,000 computer--acquired with a grant from the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning--will allow police to retrieve files on arrests and probation status immediately after a "serious habitual offender" is arrested and booked, said Mark Robledo, a crime analyst for the Pomona Police Department.

A serious habitual offender is a person under 18 who meets certain state criteria on the frequency of arrests and the seriousness of charges. For example, a minor who has been arrested five or more times, and who is charged with three or more felonies, would fall under the classification.

Robledo said the automation system will save his department time that is now spent keeping manual records of serious habitual offenders. In addition, the computer will allow the department to create monthly profile booklets that will be distributed to the district attorney's office, schools and probation officers. Those officials, in turn, will be able to monitor the identified youths.

The concept for such a tracking system originated in Florida and quickly spread to cities in the United States, said Pomona Police Capt. Jack Blair.

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