In the face of recent events and severe resource constraints, law enforcement is under greater scrutiny than ever before. Today’s challenges represent a critical opportunity for law enforcement to review current processes and strategies in order to ensure officers are equipped with the best technology and tools that will help them make the best decisions to ensure the best possible outcome.
The Power of Information
The information that can solve and prevent crime exists, but the information is too frequently locked away in legacy IT systems. There are over 18,000 law enforcement agencies, and most house their data from their myriad information systems in separate, disparate databases. These databases frequently have little ability to communicate with each other, let alone with those from agencies across the county, state, or country. This creates a lot of work gathering valuable information which too often ends with it being squirreled away in countless locked silos, unable to provide context, value, and insight in the moments our officers need it the most.
With the ability to access valuable information, from across the country, law enforcement is able to elevate their current processes and strategies and reduce crime. The availability of critical investigative information, from any device and from any location, allows law enforcement to deploy precision policing by no longer just responding and reporting but solving and arresting the most violent offenders in a community.
Choosing the Right Technology
Data-driven policing is possible and effective with the right technology. When it comes to technology investments, a common mistake among law enforcement agencies is to buy tools with just individual agency usage in mind. Not having tools that are capable or easy to leverage as part of a strategic plan for interagency communications can be both costly and cumbersome. When looking to leverage technology and data analytics, it is best to look for a tool that provides nationwide data and analytical tools for the entire department.
COPLINK X deploys the most comprehensive set of data in the industry, allowing agencies to access critical and relevant information from not only your agency’s IT systems, but across the city, county, state, and country. Analytics and visualization tools enable patrol, analysts, investigators and command staff to glean actionable insights in real-time that help identify the worst offenders in a community, deploying resources effectively and reducing crime.
Reduce Violent Crime
Data is powerful in any investigation and is critical when targeting the worst offenders in a city. Traditionally law enforcement may respond to a crime, take notes and then file a report. With the ability to access critical information almost immediately, officers are able to quickly use whatever pieces of information that currently exist to identify suspects and addresses from a crime scene. COPLINK X also provides a variety of visualization tools, such as link charts, 3-D visualizations, interactive geospatial rendering of incidents, interactive tag clouds, and timelines to provide a multi-faceted approach to investigations. This technology allows officers to make arrests in the golden hour after a serious crime was committed.
Data not only speeds up investigations but helps with limited resources and less officers in the field patrolling high crime neighborhoods. Access to data in the field allows law enforcement to deploy a faster, more agile, more effective and far more data-driven approach to policing, reducing violent crime.
Reduce Negative Footprint
Cutting crime rates is only a portion of the positive outcomes that result from data sharing platforms. Data allows law enforcement to simultaneously reduce their negative footprint, ultimately leading to better relationships with the community.
The failure of so many existing analytical or predictive technologies is that they tell law enforcement to do the same thing: send more cops into high crime neighborhoods. This creates a problem as the more officers you have looking for violations, results in a lot more arrests for low-level crimes that are not making the largest impact on those neighborhoods. This creates a bad relationship with the community and leads to a waste of valuable resources.
So how do you reduce crime while also reducing negative footprint? It all comes back to the ability to quickly identify the very small percentage of criminals doing the most harm in a community.
Oakland Police Department, in California, adopted this data-driven approach to policing and saw a dramatic decrease in their violent crime and negative footprint. Oakland PD’s Captain, Chris Bolton points to how technology facilitated new successful methods of policing within the department. “We used to do lots of well-intentioned traffic stops in the hopes we’d find a firearm, but the yield rates were terrible. With Forensic Logic, we created a new approach: using information and investigative leads at every level of the organization to know what car we wanted to stop before we stopped them. We started recovering more firearms and lowering crime rates by stopping fewer people, which all helps our standing in the community. It’s the embodiment of responsible, intelligence-led policing, and Forensic Logic made it possible.”
Improve Community Relationships
Every department in the U.S. is facing the realities of budget constraints and increased public expectations for modern policing practices and better outcomes. Using technology that creates efficiency, can lead to efficient policing practices, less crime and better community relations.
Data and information sharing tools can allow agencies to:
- Implement solutions that balance public safety, community service needs, available funds, and taxpayer expectations.
- Focus on the small percentage of people who are driving the crime in a community, reducing negative footprint in at-risk communities.
- Free up resources and costs on administrative evidence compiling tasks through automation.
- Make better use of intelligence and other data and information systems by promoting data transparency.
- Reduce the rate of violent crimes. (After starting its data-driven approach to gun crime, the Oakland Police Department saw a 50% decrease in shootings, a 42% drop in homicides and a 38% decline in robberies).
Today’s challenges represent an opportunity for law enforcement to review current information sharing practices, technologies and cultural norms. Aligning on shared goals and needs, finding incentives for information sharing, and demonstrating progress in digital information sharing can help your department reduce violent crime and improve community relations.
Forensic Logic Police Database Software Solutions
Forensic Logic has spent more than a decade collaborating with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to deploy the largest, most powerful network of users, information and technology in American law enforcement.
We’ve combined our industry-leading search engine, LEAP, with COPLINK’s advanced analytics and reporting to offer a full suite of information technology in a single platform. The finest tools and the richest data are now matched with streamlined integrations and rapid deployment.