Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Architecture Hall

Last Thursday night, I spent three hours with Dr. Yunwoo Nam's class, "Planning with GIS" at the University of Nebraska's Department of Community and Regional Planning. My role was to introduce the class to the way geographic information systems are used in policing. I did a short PowerPoint presentation, then the class and I did a little analytical work: examining the impact of residency restrictions on sex offenders, checking out recent patterns or residential burglary in the city, and analyzing dispatch data to determine the best location for the Northeast Team to locate a substation.

Judging from the interaction and the questions, I think this was a particularly interesting class session for the students. It is a three hour class that meets once a week, and I filled the entire time. As the class was breaking up, I reminded the stsudent that I see many job announcements for police crime analysts, and GIS experience is often one of the chief qualifications employers are looking for. Two of my former interns have found nice jobs, and crime analysis is a dynamic and growing field as more and more agencies learn it's value.

Dr. Nam's class was in room 316 in Architecture Hall, my favorite campus building, dripping with history and resplendent in it's late 19th Century architecture. When I was an undergraduate, the most spectacular marble urinals I had ever seen were located in the men's room on the ground floor. I tried to check them out, but the door I thought led to the toilet is marked as room 102 and does not appear to be a restroom any longer. That's a pity--it should have been preserved.

On the same subject (crime analysis, that is), Friday I spent the morning reviewing proposals from three companies who are in the running to serve as consultants on the Nebraska Fusion Center. Fusion centers are the rage in law enforcement at the moment, as Federal funding streams have opened to encourage the development of these information sharing and analysis centers. The State Patrol, Crime Commission, Omaha police, and Lincoln police are the major players in the project, coordinated by NSP.

The committee met in the conference room of the Nebraska State Patrol's Criminal Identification Division, at 233 S. 10th Street. When I arrived, one of the employees started to give me directions to the conference room. There was no need: the room was my personal office for over six years. Other than the furniture, it hasn't changed at all.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone quote the poem on the plaque in the mens room regarding "loss"?

Anonymous said...

Hey chief, I did a little research of my own. I think I would locate the substation at 49 and Huntington. How did I do?

Tom Casady said...

9:00-

Not bad at all!

Anonymous said...

ref 233 South 10th.

You forgot to mention the same person was hanging around the water cooler :)

Anonymous said...

Did I hear substation on west O????

Anonymous said...

http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/2008/08/more-gun-control-is-good.html

Could you give your views on this? Thanks

Anonymous said...

I really like your idea of building a SE Team station on the NE corner of 70th & A. The city already owns the land, don't they? I can picture it now, purpose-built, from the ground up, and it'd be beautiful. Float a bond issue for the building, and I'll happily fill in the FOR oval (and I almost never vote for bond issues).

Anonymous said...

I think I would have put the substation on 'O' Street and made it a NE/SE substation.

Anonymous said...

I have urinated in marble urinals before (the Bilagio in Vegas) and found it no more enjoyable then the standard porcelain fixtures found at any Denny's. What's the big deal?

Anonymous said...

If looking for a new SE Station, you might look into the now old Hy-vee store located at 70th an O. Look at the many different ways to park a car. You can even get a few inside! There's facilities for both genders, cooking and freezeing appliances of a commercial grade. With all the windows, alot of exposeure to the general public. Per the store manager, Hy-Vee still owns the lease for 12 more years. I bet they would be happy to plit the lease cost. In todays economic times lets think about tax dollars instead of a new building.

Glenn H. said...

Chief Casady,

I was one of the visitors who attended your lecture in Dr. Nam's class. I want to thank you for taking the time to give us a very interesting, informative, and entertaining evening. One of my Southeast Community College students also attended part of the lecture and said he enjoyed it as well. The 3 hours actually passed fairly quickly and I left feeling we had barely scratched the surface, and with more questions left unasked.

As a geographer, I particularly appreciated that you covered not only the technical aspects of the departments GIS but also the geography behind both the GIS techniques you use and the crime/administrative patterns that occur. As I tell my SCC Human Geography classes, we can readily find examples right here in Lincoln, where we can observe them directly, for almost all the geographic concepts and processes covered in the class, and your lecture incorporated quite a few of those.

Finally I am glad you also included those aspects of map visualization and creating useful products that you covered at the end of the session. Given the reputation GIS users in general have for creating 'bad' maps, I think it important that GIS students see the mistakes that are commonly being made so that they can hopefully take an interest in producing better products.

Once again, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to give that lecture. I hope to have the opportunity to attend another sometime.

Tom Casady said...

6:52-
Your missing the point.

Glenn-

Thanks!

5:59-

Life is about compromise. Both of our substations were part of community rededvelopment projects that came looking for us. Strike while the iron is hot. In a perfect world, I would have seized a corner of Seacrest Park at 70th & A and made an "east Lincoln" station.

5:12-

I doubt that a bond issue is on the City's immediate horizon. We're in a bit of an economic slowdown these days. I think that will continue to slow plans for City projects.

Anonymous said...

6:52 is indeed missing the point. I wouldn't be surprised if, commenting on a tourist's review of Blenheim Palace, said, "So what - I've stood under high ceilings before, what's the difference?".