Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about — and benefit from — some of the cuttingedge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.
The City of South Haven, Michigan, located on the pristine shores of Lake Michigan implemented their new Windows Public Safety Software System from Computer Information Systems Inc. (CIS). The City of South Haven joins the growing CIS user base of more than 700 public safety agencies nationwide. South Haven’s Public Safety Department determined the need for a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that could meet the needs of the city’s 5,000 residential population and the many tens of thousands of year-round visitors from all over the Midwest.
The City of South Haven, Michigan, Becomes the First Michigan Installation to Join CIS
After interviews with many of the established Tier 1 CAD vendors, it became apparent that South Haven would be unable to afford their recurrent costs. “We did find an exception in CIS through talking to other agencies, and we got serious about CIS when we realized that CIS had a small agency price program to provide South Haven with their CAD system that met our dispatcher’s needs, at a price that we could afford,” according to Police Chief Rod Somerlott. CIS provides the South Haven Police Department with CAD, Enhanced 911, mapping interface and full 24 x 7 x 365 maintenance and support. CIS also provides both their unique 24 x 7 x 365 services direct to their technical people and at a fraction of the general rate for Tier 1 systems.
With their new CIS CAD system, the South Haven Police Department can easily access real-time information and print clean and complete reports. According to Officer Phillip Poole, “The biggest thing in our department is collecting stats. The CIS system is able to do this in a quarter of the time it would have taken us with our old system. Whatever you put into the CIS system you can pull right out. The software is great; it does everything it’s supposed to do.”
“The CIS CAD system was the third system that we have implemented since I became Chief of Police of South Haven. The first two systems both became defunct, due to the lack of support. Support became the number one priority when we were looking for a new system,” said Chief Rod Somerlott.
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Edmonton Police Service Fights Crime with IBM Business Analytics Technology
IBM announces that Canada’s Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is using IBM business analytics technology to help reduce crime, improve force effectiveness, and increase public safety.
Leading law enforcement agencies like Edmonton are using analytics technology to obtain the right information at the right time—even before a crime may have been committed—to inform police officers so they can stay on top of and prevent criminal activities, identify crime “hot spots,” and ultimately reduce crime rates.
In Western Canada, EPS is responsible for policing a regional population with more than one million residents. Its primary mandate is to prevent and reduce crime by providing comprehensive public safety services when and where they are most needed. The police service turned to IBM to take advantage of analytics technology to spot crime trends and link performance goals from the executive to the constables on the street.
With business analytics technology, Edmonton police are able to see data in near real time. They put crime information directly into the hands of front-line patrol officers so they can use it to quickly identify problems, associated trends, and locations of crimes to determine their response and problem-solving solutions. EPS has also been able to look at the components of response times, such as dispatch delays and travel time, to identify the issues that play a role in overall response time. With this technology, police are able to monitor performance strategically over time and place and tactically on a day-by-day and call-by-call basis.
As a result of employing IBM analytics technology, EPS was able to make more resources available to effectively deal with a potential increase in arson activity. The agency noticed an upward trend in the crime, based on the instant information made available through analytics. By quickly comparing new information with data from previous years, the police service was able to ascertain that the trend was likely to increase from March to July. Efforts were ultimately successful in nearly eliminating arsons in that particular area during this period.
“For us, the bottom-line is to prevent crime, and business analytics reporting has helped us accomplish that,” said John Warden, BI project team lead, Edmonton Police Services.
In the future, the force hopes to take advantage of mobile devices to directly disseminate relevant information to officers, regardless of location.
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The City of Hays, Kansas Deploys NetMotion Wireless for Secure Mobile Communications
NetMotion Wireless, a leading provider of mobile productivity and management software, announces that Hays, Kansas, has deployed Net-Motion's mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN) on laptops used by police officers. NetMotion's software, Mobility XE, boosts mobile productivity by maintaining and optimizing secure connections to applications as officers move in and out of wireless coverage areas and across various networks.
Serving nearly 20,000 residents, Hays is the largest city in Northwest Kansas. The IT department used funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant, part of the U.S. Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to purchase mobile VPN licenses. After an initial deployment of Mobility XE completed by its sales and set up partner Portable Computer Systems, the city is installing the software on more and more of its police officers’ laptops. In addition, some software licenses have been allocated to Ellis County for testing and evaluation for possible county-wide deployment of the mobile VPN.
“This will allow our officers in Hays to do in their cars what they normally had to do in our law enforcement center, therefore allowing them to spend more time on the streets, interacting with residents and serving the community,” said Chad Ruder, IT coordinator. “The mobile VPN will also allow them to have real-time access to their records management system to look up critical information from the field.”
With secure and seamless wireless connection ensured by Mobility XE, the officers can e-mail, write reports, and access records management and other sensitive information from the department’s network drive from their police cruisers, no matter where they are in the city.■
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