Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quicker is better

I have been a proud member of the Police Executive Research Forum, a professional association of eggheads of my ilk, for a couple decades.  One of the benefits of membership is a daily email composed of links to a handful of interesting or provocative news stories from around the country.  For one reason or another, there has never been one from Lincoln.  Maybe our local media outlets aren't picked up that much on the right coast, or maybe we're just not that interesting.  Oh well.

Colorado, though, was in this week's clips with an interesting article from the Denver Post about a new Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center in Lakewood. Here's the excerpt that caught my eye:
The silver Dodge was screaming up Interstate 70 at 2 a.m., outgunning a state trooper who had flipped on his lights because of a minor traffic violation. It was only after the 19-year-old woman crashed inside the Eisenhower Tunnel that the reason for her 100-mph run became clear: She told troopers she thought they were after her because she stole the vehicle 11 days earlier.  None of the law officers involved in the July chase even knew the car was stolen. The reason? Authorities in the small western Colorado town where it went missing hadn't filed a report in a statewide database yet.  A delay in auto-theft reporting by police and sheriff's offices was one of the first problems targeted by Colorado's new auto-theft lab when it began work in January....some jurisdictions were taking from two weeks to three months. Now the average delay in reporting a stolen vehicle is about 1.5 days, down from more than four days a few months ago.

Holy cow, a day and a half is an improvement?  Cheri Marti, who manages LPD's Service Desk and who's staff handles entries into the National Crime Information Center database tells me that from the time an Lincoln police officer submits a stolen vehicle report until the time the entry has been made in the State and national databases is less than two hours--often much quicker.


Anonymous said...

I suspect it is about the same number of stolen autos per capita, and Colorado has many more residents.

If staffing of agencies are trimmed to the bare minimums, it stands to reason that they are overloaded by the shear volume of stolen autos to get them entered in a timely fashion.

Anonymous said...

As I have pointed out to many younger LPD "centurions" they have no idea how progressive LPD is compared to other agencies of the same size. The biggest advantage is the use of a single database available to all officers. Compare that to many jurisdictions and you will see they have multiple databases that are not correlated and certainly not accessible by all officers of that department. It really is a shame that officers at LPD and the citizens of the city of Lincoln have no opportunity to critically compare the information resource management capabilities they have until they leave the agency from which they derived that benefit.
Appreciate what you have and ask other agencies what they can offer for comparison for information available to every officer on the street or in command.

Steve said...

I never could figure out why so many things take as much time as they do. Seems to me filing the report is going to take the same amount of time whether one does it immediately, or saves it until later. Why put it off? Better yet, if it can wait "two weeks to three months", is it worth doing at all?

Anonymous said...

Really? They didn't pick up on "marijuana kitty in a box?" That story went international.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Director,
One database I would really like to see made available to the General Public is a database of stolen firearms. I don't want to buy a firearms that has been stolen but currently a civilian does not have access to a list of stolen weapons like the NCIC(?) database. Letting private citizens access this list would probably reduce the number of stolen firearms.

I am 100% against firearms registration but I am also 100% against buying a stolen firearm. A database of this type would help an honest firearm purchaser in the buying process.

Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...


Can't solve that on a national level, but we've already done so in our little burg, several years ago:

Stolen Firearms reported to the Lincoln Police Department within the previous three years. Use CTRL-F ( or Edit/Find) to search.

Steve said...

Gun Nut:

I agree with you for the most part, though I'm not 100% against gun registration. I figure, as long as I am an honest citizen, I have no reason to fear gun registration, and it could help me to get my gun back should it be stolen. Yes, Big Brother might someday choose to confiscate all the privately owned guns, but at that point, I'd just as die trying to keep mine as let them take it. :)

It's funny to me that the city has a law requiring one to report the sale of a gun with a form that is supposed to be available from LPD, and yet no one seems to want the form and it doesn't say what to do with it once you fill it out. I can't even find the form on line anymore. I downloaded it once when I was selling a handgun to a friend, but I practically had to beg LPD to take it and record it so that I would no longer be the registered owner. To be frank, I doubt if anyone ever did, as I never got any reply when I finally mailed it to LPD.

Tom Casady said...

By the way, Gun Nut and others...

To search by MAKE most effectively, it helps to understand how these are entered.

The MAKE in LPD stolen property records (such as Wollensock, Studebaker, Pulsar and so forth) is a six-character abbreviation that follows the old NCIC format. Here's how it works:

If the MAKE a one-word name, it is the first six characters. A name less than six letters simply gets padded out with spaces automatically:

Remington = REMING
Colt = COLT
Samsung = SAMSUN

A two word name is also six characters but will be the first letter of the first word, followed by a space, followed by the first four letters of the second word--for a total of six:

Thompson Center = T CENT
Hewlett Packard = H PACK
Porter Cable = P CABL

A three word make is similar, always six characters total, including spaces:

National Cash Register = N C RE

Can't think of any other three-word makes right now....

Ignore connectors like "and" or &:

Pratt & Whitney = P WHIT
Black & Decker = B DECK
Smith & Wesson = S WESS

Anonymous said...

The database of LOCAL stolen property is great. However I have a feeling stolen firearms probably "travel" farther than other stolen items when a thief sells them. If I remember correctly some of the Scheel's stolen firearms were recovered quite a distance from Nebraska. For that reason a FEDERAL database of stolen firearms would be great. I have written letters about this to our Senators and Congressmen but I think it is going to take hundreds of letters to do it. It might be opening up Pandora's box.

Gun Nut

Steve said...

I don't think Pandora owned any guns.