Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Real time crime

One of the presentations I saw last week in Kansas City was an interesting web tour of the Real Time Crime Center at the Ogden, Utah Police Department.  Using a webcam, the center's manager gave us a tour of the facility, and showed us the kind of work they do.  It is described well in this video:

Ogden's information resources are rather similar to Lincoln's, with the exception of their much larger network of recorded CCTV cameras, and their broader implementation of license plate readers.  Still, most all of the information mined by the center and sent out to officers is readily available in Lincoln, and then some.  Their approach is interesting: a group of officers back at HQ who both perform the same functions as our Crime Analysis Unit, and who can also grab information and try to get it out to officers in the field quickly when officers are dispatched to priority 1 and 2 calls.  They essentially watch the dispatch queue, and react proactively to assemble supplementary information they think would be valuable to the officers who are responding, and ship that to the officers' mobile data computers.

Lincoln's approach is a little different: trying to make the same kind of information available to officers in the field, either with push technology, location-based services, or in interfaces that are simple enough for rank-and-file patrol officers to use effectively.  Recently, we've been experimenting with a few two-person patrol units--essentially turning the patrol car into it's own mini-version of a real time crime center. Our location-based services application CrimeView NearMe (P3i), is another example of this approach.

I think both of these approaches has merit. Ogden staffs it's center with four full-time employees, one civilian and three sworn--quite an investment of personnel in a City of about 85,000 population.  If you had the same ratio in Lincoln, with 258,000, that would require a dozen staff.


Anonymous said...

That would be cool but LPD is already short handed and patrol teams are constantly below minimum. No way we could afford to put a bunch of cops inside manpower wise.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I put up a CCTV camera and caught some Real Time Crime.

Tom Casady said...


Precisely, which is why LPD has focused on push technology, simple user interfaces, and making as much self-serve as possible. However, a hybrid may be in our future, in which the information service we all know as "Channel 50," and the Crime Analysis Unit, collaborate with the Emergency Communications Center in an effort to enhance the level of information that can be sent along with the dispatch. Standby.

Anonymous said...

How is the two person car trial going by the way?