Topics- Predictive Policing By- Ardallah L Date-1/16/2013
This paper is prepared for the course CIS 500- Information Systems for Decision Making.
This paper will compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets. It will describe how COMSTAT as an information system (IS) implements the four (4) basic (IS) functions; and will discuss the fashion is which IT systems have made police departments more efficient in preventing and responding to crime. I will also explore the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity , and Threats (SWOT) analysis. This is essential for police departments that intend to use the implementation of the new predictive policing.
For years, business have used data analysis to anticipate market conditions or industry trends and drive sales strategies. Police are using a similar data analysis tool to make their work more efficient. The idea is being called predictive policing.
Predictive policing, in essence, is taking data from disparate sources, analyzing them and then using the results to anticipate, prevent and respond more effectively to future crime.
COMPSTAT (COMPuter STATistics), an information system, uses Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) to map the locations of where crimes occur, identify “hotspot”, and map problem areas. For predictive policing COMPSTAT has amassed a wealth of historical crime data.
Mathematician have design, develop algorithm that run against the historical data to predict future crimes for police.
In order to effectively compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets, we first have to look at exactly what information technology is available to police today. The term predictive policing is the name given to “any policing strategy or tactic that develops and uses information and advanced analysis to inform forward-thinking crime prevention”. (Predictive Policing Symposium, 2010) The five elements of predictive policing focusing on are integrated information and operations, seeing the big picture, cutting-edge analysis and technology, linkage to performance, adaptability to changing conditions. There are a very large number of ways technology used to implement these five elements: patrol staffing and resource allocation, time and location of future incidence in a crime pattern, identify individuals who are likely to reoffend/early detection of career criminals, analysis of predatory patterns, threat and vulnerability assessment, city/neighborhood planning, traffic management, crowd control …and the list goes on. In a world where technology is developing and evolving faster than it can be implemented, it is realistic to assume that the police force would adapt and use that technology to place them in a good position to be able to adequately and effectively do its job. The first element, integrated information and operation, removes silos allowing for simpler and timelier access to information. It centers on developing, managing, and operating and integrated information infrastructure. One of the largest IT pitfalls of many businesses is having information isolated with departments. The police are no different, they maintain many multiple databases. Rarely, in the past, were any of those systems connected. This was a huge breakdown in communication. Information needs to be cross functional. Information sources needs to be linked to police analytical systems. Poor information sharing can hinder and prevent effective analysis and