Monday, April 6, 2009

Learn and share

Just got home Saturday from a trip to the Omega Group User's Conference in San Diego, where I had been invited to deliver the keynote address. The Omega Group is the maker of CrimeView, our analytical mapping software, and the provider of By San Diego standards, it was cool--I actually needed a sweater. The blast of winter-in-April that awaited us upon return, however, was...bracing.

The theme of my keynote was threefold: use the results of your analysis to support more and better prevention projects; move beyond static maps, bulletins and other products to interactive content; prepare yourself for a future where your ability to manage data and information is a key to effective policing.

On that subject, it is remarkable to me to think back on how things have changed in the past decade or so. From a hotel room in California, I could attend our daily shift briefings, keep up on police reports and case files, and attend to the blog--not to mention the huge volume of daily email.

I had the chance to meet in person a couple of people I've assisted via telephone and web conference. Cesar Abreu, the supervisor of the Crime Analysis and Intelligence Unit at the Yakima, WA police department was in attendance. He is in the process of ramping up a GIS operation within his unit, and got some nice press on the efforts recently.

I also met up with Sgt. Rick Fisher, of the Gulfport, MS police. Gulfport, you will recall, was demolished by hurricane Katrina. Police headquarters was among the casualties. When I first talked to Rick, the department was operating out of trailers. They've now moved to a former school, while there headquarters is being constructed. Rick has had the opportunity to start up a crime mapping and analysis operation as well.

It was a pleasure to give some advice and information to Cesar and Rick, and I enjoyed meeting them in person. I picked up several good tips during the conference, and I hope I've shared some of my own with others.


Anonymous said...

Gulfport law enforcement has some big challenges. Their murder rate is 8x ours, and 2x the Omaha rate.

(Is it just me, or do the bar graphs at that site not correspond with their data?)

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