The Police Chief - December 2011 - (Page 72)

Intelligence-Led Policing: New System Requirements The Future Is Now By Marc Fields, Chief of Police, Erlanger, Kentucky, Police Department; and Steve Castor, Communications Center Manager, Erlanger, Kentucky, Police Department The primary motivator for this project was a desire to share information among multiple agencies. Historically, the Erlanger PD had used mapping and statistical software to provide information to patrol officers and supervisors. Manually mapping crimes was time-consuming, however, and the data were not in real time. In addition, neighboring cities used different systems, some with no crime mapping, and many police records were only available offline in hard copies stored in filing cabinets, all of which made it difficult to share information beyond city boundaries. While criminals crossed back and forth over these boundaries, the information about their crimes stayed within individual cities, often out of reach when it was needed most. The department needed a solution that could dig into historical databases and integrate real-time information about incidents, crimes, and arrests. The Erlanger PD also faced a 5 percent to 10 percent annual increase in calls, stretching police resources to the limit. By working smarter and doing more work with fewer people, the city of Erlanger could avoid raising taxes or hiring additional personnel. This realization drove the department to build a new information system. The system had to allow officers and supervisors to dig into historical databases, as well as integrate real-time information about current crimes, arrests, and incidents—old data are no good in patrol cars. The system also had to be fast, easy, and intuitive to use. A few years ago, Erlanger, Kentucky—a quiet suburban community in northern Kentucky, close to Cincinnati, Ohio—experienced a series of mysterious crimes. Everything from wrought-iron fences to sewer covers was disappearing. The burglaries, though, were spread across several jurisdictions throughout northern Kentucky, and none of the police departments involved detected a pattern. It was not until some of the stolen goods turned up at a multijurisdictional recycling center that police could see the pattern and solve the crime. It turned out thieves were feeding the rising demand for contraband iron fueled by China’s industrial expansion. That Was Then, This Is Now Today, the city of Erlanger Police Department (PD) could detect the pattern and stop it immediately—and with even fewer personnel and less overtime. Any one of the police chiefs and more than 150 police officers in 10 neighboring cities could go to the police department’s secure web-based portal interface, open a web browser, enter a keyword such as “metal” 72 THE POLICE CHIEF/DECEMBER 2011 or “iron” into a simple search index, and all of the related incidents—up to the current minute—would be linked in a onepage report. To better serve its 22,000 residents with a 42-member force, the Erlanger PD created a new integrated information system that provides police with real-time views of incidents, arrests, 9-1-1 calls, and other events throughout the dispatch area. The system combines current crime data from 19 government agencies and 10 neighboring cities, linking formerly unrelated information about suspects, incidents, arrests, and crimes. It also merges current data with crime records and incident reports stretching back over five years. Integrated search capabilities enable law enforcement personnel to access all of this information in seconds without needing an analyst to generate reports. The Erlanger PD worked with Information Builders, using its WebFOCUS business intelligence software, and ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) software to create this interactive, real-time crime portal in fewer than three months using six information technology staffers. What the New System Does To meet these requirements, the Erlanger PD built a business intelligence (BI) portal that links to local law enforcement applications and provides key performance indicators (KPIs) for supervisors, dynamic visualization of geographic data, integrated real-time search capabilities, and automatic report creation and distribution. Although the Erlanger PD looked for a packaged, prebuilt solution, the department did not find one and instead found that it was faster and more affordable to build a customized solution with off-the-shelf components. Getting current information out of the new system is practically instantaneous—an essential asset on the street. The Erlanger PD system combines integrated search and BI in an innovative way. Search engines are usually designed to index and track webpages, but not database transactions. BI systems are usually designed for reporting and historical analysis, but not necessarily for simple searches. The Erlanger PD solution does both, as demonstrated in figure 1. As a result, the Erlanger PD can now search dynamic BI content and struc

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Police Chief - December 2011

President’s Message: The Time for a National Commission Has Come
Legislative Alert: National Criminal Justice Commission Legislation Falls Short of Passage
IACP Foundation: Fueled Up to Fund the Foundation: Harley-Davidson Raffle Kicked Off at Conference
Chief’s Counsel: Postincident Video Review
From the Assistant Director: The U.S. Secret Service Partners with State, Local, and International Law Enforcement to Pursue the World’s Most Wanted Cybercriminals
Advances & Applications
Taking the Straw Man to the Ground: Arguments in Support of the Linear Use-of-Force Continuum
How Police Can Use Hospital Laws to Speed Processing in Hospital Emergency Departments
On Choosing the Right Operational Police Physician
Report of the 118th Annual IACP Conference: Chicago
Board of Officers
General Assemblies
IACP Business
Exhibit Hall
Special Events
Thank You, Chicago
Life Members
New Members
Exhibitor Update
Intelligence-Led Policing: The Future Is Now
“Just a Volunteer”: Supporting An Agency’s Volunteer Program through Difficult Times
Providing Effective Policing for Aboriginal Communities
The IACP and Alcatel-Lucent Present International and Domestic Police Officer of the Year Awards
2011 Author Index
2011 Subject Index
Technology Talk
Index to Advertisers
Highway Safety Initiatives

The Police Chief - December 2011