Vancouver Police Focuses on Intelligence-Led Policing for Proactive Crime Reduction

ESRI Technology Provides Advanced Mapping and Analysis Tools to Quickly Identify Crime Patterns

VANCOUVER – ESRI Canada User Conference – November 8, 2011 – The Vancouver Police Department maintains peace and order in British Columbia's largest city, which has over half a million residents and is a popular venue for large events. To support their focus on intelligence-led policing, they deployed ESRI's enterprise geographic information system (GIS) technology that provides users across their organization with better access to mission-critical data, as well as advanced mapping and analysis tools for quickly identifying crime patterns. Through the GIS, they have integrated various systems and developed specialized applications for crime prevention and reduction. In recognition of their outstanding technology application, ESRI Canada today presented the Vancouver Police Department with an Award of Excellence in GIS.

“Keeping communities safe requires law enforcers to be several steps ahead of potential crime activity,” commented Alex Miller, president, ESRI Canada. “GIS helps police forces be proactive by allowing them to methodically view crime information, and apply various types of analysis to uncover trends. This enables them to accurately predict when and where crimes will likely occur. We saw this in action during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, where the Vancouver Police Department used GIS analysis to ensure the safety of millions of people. They've since developed several innovative applications that help them go beyond the call and better serve citizens.”

Unlike previous major events in the city where GIS analysis provided post-event feedback, the Department used GIS to support pre-planning activities and actual operations during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. They integrated ESRI's ArcGIS technology with their police record management and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, and adapted the technology to support numerous areas including managing traffic flow and street closures, planning security around the games, crowd management and counterterrorism monitoring. They used GIS to ensure a balanced deployment of officers at the various game venues based on actual need.

The Department has also integrated ArcGIS for Server with i2 Analyst's Notebook – ESRI Edition, a powerful intelligence and investigation system. The solution allows their crime analysts to track the movement of offenders and their social networks, and apply spatial, temporal and link analyses to find associations with organized crime. The integrated system played a significant role in apprehending a serial sex offender in BC earlier this year.   

“Mapping is a key component in intelligence-led policing,” says Special Constable Ryan Prox, Vancouver Police Department. “Using GIS has allowed us to visualize and analyze our existing data with other information to arrive at a better understanding of crime incidents. It delivers actionable intelligence that helps us respond to crimes quickly and effectively. Through Web mapping, we're able to provide a cost-effective solution for increasing accessibility to crime data across our department. It also frees up valuable time by automating mapping tasks, allowing us to focus more on analysis and action.”

The Department uses Web mapping to support their Computer Statistics (CompStat) process, which measures their policing performance and ability to solve crimes against standards set by the organization. By the end of 2011, about 2,200 officers and staff in the Department will have access to a CompStat Web application that maps all crime incidents in the city. Built with ArcGIS for Server and the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, the application will also pull information from the province's crime database and other partner agencies. Officers will be able to view crimes by concentration (hotspots), type (crime clusters) and transition (daily, weekly or monthly movement of crime) through the online map.

For more information on ESRI's ArcGIS technology, visit


About ESRI Canada
Founded in 1984, ESRI Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from ESRI, Telvent, Cityworks and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the top 250 Canadian IT companies and top 25 IT professional services providers in Canada by the Branham Group. Information about ESRI Canada can be found at

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