Information Systems for Decision Making
July 10, 2014
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 (Pearsall, n.d). In an attempt 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, first you need to examine what information technology is available to police today. The term predictive policing is the name given to “any policing ...view middle of the document...
Predictive policing focuses on the following five elements consisting of integrated information and operations, seeing the big picture, cutting-edge analysis and technology, linkage to performance, and adaptability to changing conditions. There are a numerous ways technology is used to implement the five elements. Patrol staffing and resource allocation, time and location of future incidents in a crime pattern, identifying individuals who are likely to reoffend, analysis of predatory patterns, threat and vulnerability assessment, city versus neighborhood planning, traffic management, and much more depending on the objective of the agency (Predictive Policing Symposium, 2010).
Information technology has proven to achieve impressive strides toward public safety and neighborhood development. By having the ability to predict the crime before it occurs, and target specific areas, police were able to infiltrate and focus on the area, therefore, reducing crime. Now faced with the many options offered to the police through predictive policing, it is simple to see how patrolling the streets are an archaic way of thinking.
COMPSTAT is short for computer statistics, comparative statistics or computer comparison statistics and is a data-driven model used by police to manage and reduce crime. COMPSTAT is a management philosophy or organizational management tool for police departments, roughly equivalent to Six Sigma or TQM, and is not a computer system or software package. (State of CA, 2010). In 1994, Police Commissioner William Bratton introduced a data-driven management model in the New York City Police Department, which was credited with decreasing crime and increasing quality of life in New York City. Due to its success in New York, COMPSTAT has diffused quickly across the United States and has become a widely embraced management model focused on crime reduction. COMPSTAT facilitates accurate and timely analysis of crime and disorder data, which is used to identify crime patterns and problems. Based on this analysis, tailored responses are implemented through rapid deployment of personnel and resources. The COMPSTAT process is guided by four principles, which are similar to the basic four, information system (IS) functions.
Four basic IS functions | 4-COMPSTAT principles |
Input | Accurate and timely intelligence – know what is happening |
Processing | Effective tactics – have a plan |
Output | Rapid deployment – do it quickly |
Feedback | Relentless follow-up and assessment – If it works do more. If not, do something else. |
Input - the first basic IS function, is easy to compare to COMPSTATS first principle because at the core of each activity is the use of computer-generated, and other statistical data that are gathered in as close to real time as possible and subsequently presented in various formats in hard copy and electronically at COMPSTAT meetings; formats include charts, graphs, maps, command profiles, and crime...