October 05, 2009 —The City of Norfolk, Virginia, has begun using CrimeView®, by The Omega Group, to identify high accident locations, improve safety, increase reporting speed, and cut costs by reducing the number of employees needed to perform these tasks. The city’s Division of Transportation uses CrimeView® to analyze the locations and causes of traffic accidents and produce an annual ranking of intersections that takes into account both the number of accidents and the traffic volume on each road segment. The city then uses this information to improve safety at the most dangerous intersections, obtain grants, and produce a variety of reports.
Jerry Riddick, a Safety Program Engineer who has worked for the city for 24 years, uses CrimeView® daily to analyze traffic accidents, including those that involve pedestrians and bicyclists. He works closely with the police department’s special enforcement division, which deals with all traffic matters, including accidents.
“CrimeView® helps us apply for federal and state funding for roadway improvements, resurfacing, and multi-use paths and to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” says Riddick. “We can evaluate intersections before and after an intervention and see whether a problem has been corrected or a new type of incident has been occurring. We also use accident data to justify the installation of yield signs, stop signs, and traffic signals.”
CrimeView® cuts costs by reducing the amount of staff time required to collect and analyze traffic data. When police officers investigate accidents, they fill out report forms. The data from these forms are then entered into a database and exported into CrimeView® The 42 data elements collected for each accident include its location, date, and time, the angle of impact, the number of people injured, the weather, the age of the drivers involved, and whether any of them were intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Police officers with laptop computers in their cruisers can enter accident information directly into the central database. They can also take advantage of GPS receivers installed inside their laptops or connected externally to automatically enter the accident’s latitude and longitude. Motorcycle officers, who don’t carry laptops, fill out paper forms and enter the nearest street address, which is later geocoded using ESRI’s ArcGIS software.
Analysts can generate reports by exporting data from CrimeView® into Crystal Reports, without having to spend time converting data. “It is an all-inclusive, turn-key solution,” Riddick says. “It has been a true time saver for us.” He also points out that, by using a graphical-based system and street segments by cross street, instead of intersections, CrimeView helps users better understand the broader context of each accident.
CrimeView® is the most widely used desktop crime analysis and mapping solution in North America. Hundreds of agencies utilize CrimeView® for investigations, deployment, emergency management, and COMPSTAT reporting. Data from computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS) is automatically imported into a mapping platform that allows end users to visualize crime activity geographically.
CrimeView® offers crime analysts a simple interface that allows for advanced analyses, such as Hot Spot mapping and Repeat Calls reporting. With automated features, such as Threshold Alerts and Cyclical Reporting, CrimeView® can save significant time and resources. Numerous communities have been able to reduce crime through the effective use of GIS and CrimeView®.
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