August 6, 2010 -- The Glendale Police Department has one of the lowest municipal crime rates in the region despite having a very low officer to citizenry ratio. This impressive result is due to the department’s focus on developing meaningful and actionable intelligence from crime data to bring about major reduction of crime incidents. CrimeView® Server and CrimeMapping.com™ by The Omega Group are key components of the department’s focus on using technology to combine intelligence gathering and crime solving. Both applications are built on the ESRI mapping platform.
CrimeView® Server and CrimeMapping.com™ are web based geographic information systems that enable officers and community members to analyze crime trends in a map view environment via an internet browser. These applications convert crime incident tabular data extracted from Glendale’s Tiburon® based records management system into a geo-spatial screen display.
CrimeMapping.com™ was designed for the public to keep residents informed of crime incidents in their neighborhoods. Officers and crime analysts use CrimeView® Server to decide where to deploy resources most effectively after identifying hot spots and patterns of criminal activity.
CrimeView® Server is the focal point of the department’s internal discussions among command staff and field officers about identifying and responding effectively to emerging crime trends. CrimeView® Server’s reports, maps and charts bring developing problems front and center for practical solutions by officers from divisions and specialty units throughout the department. As explains Captain Nicolaisen, Support Services Division, “With CrimeView® Server, we are situating crime analysis as the central driving force throughout our operations and not just an adjunct for detectives. We now can have all our officers conducting real time geo-spatial analysis. Officers no longer have to solely rely on our professional crime analysts for information.”
CrimeView® Server allowed officers and detectives to track a recent string of liquor store burglaries where the perpetrators were smashing windows to gain entry and steal state lottery tickets. CrimeView® Server’s temporal pinpointing capabilities elucidated the time of day and locations of the stores which had been hit and this information was used to plan increased patrols and stakeouts of the next likely targets. The result was that the spree was disrupted to the point that the suspects were forced to make a failed attempt to redeem stolen tickets in a neighboring municipality where Glendale Police quickly arrested them.
CrimeView® Server allows each of the department’s geographic area commands to concentrate on intelligence gathering in their responsible sectors to address concerns such as a sudden rise in vandalism, graffiti or gang activity. According to Lt. Carl Povilaitis, Special Operations Bureau, “The intuitive nature of CrimeView® Server allows officers to easily get comfortable with doing higher end analysis producing better intelligence leading directly to making arrests which in turn makes for highly rewarding job satisfaction.”
CrimeMapping.com™ is giving residents the opportunity to act as amateur crime analysts. With access to details of crime incidents in their neighborhoods, residents become more attuned to suspicious activity that might otherwise go unnoticed. As residents become more familiar with CrimeMapping.com™, Lt. Povilaitis anticipates that residents will have a better sense of what is going on in their neighborhoods.
CrimeMapping.com™ provides the means for the public to be more informed which translates into having a stronger and more engaged partnership between the department and the community. As Lt. Povilaitis points out “When residents are able to monitor those kinds of crime incidents that significantly impact their daily lives such as burglaries and thefts, there is a higher probability that they will be able to make the connection to something they witness in their neighborhood and immediately report the activity to the police.”
The department’s professional analysts are spending less time on ordinary data retrieval in response to requests for information and focusing on more complex crime analysis projects. For instance, residents are obtaining crime data on their own instead of contacting the crime analysis unit. As notes Abigail Luczon, Senior Crime Analyst, “We can now be more proactive in creating new types of analytical studies for use by command staff and field officers to assist them in focusing on particular problems.”
CrimeView® Server and CrimeMapping.com™ are bolstering Glendale Police’s emphasis on leveraging data to obtain intelligence leading to rapid law enforcement response to criminal activity and accountability to the community.
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