1. Compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets. In recent years, the idea of predictive policing, or the use of statistics and data to make policing decisions, has become widely popular in the United States. In 1994, the New York City Police Department adopted a law enforcement crime fighting strategy known as COMPSTAT (Computer Statistics). COMPSTAT uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map the locations of where crimes occur, identify “hotspots”, and map problem areas. COMPSTAT has amassed a wealth of historical crime data. Mathematicians have designed and developed algorithms that run against the historical data to predict future crimes for police departments. The purpose of this paper is to briefly examine predictive policing and how tools such as COMPSTAT allow police departments to respond more efficiently to criminal activity. Using information technology to fight crime by the police officers is becoming increasingly effective in apprehending the crime perpetrators. Predictive policing, or programs such as COMPSTAT, involves using data from disparate sources, analyzing them and then using the results to anticipate, prevent and respond more effectively to future crimes. “The predictive vision moves law enforcement from focusing on what will happen and how to effectively deploy resources in front of the crime, thereby changing outcomes,” writes Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (Predictive Policing: The Future of Law Enforcement, NIJ, 2012). From the early 1800s to the 1980s, patrol and criminal investigation dominated policing. Uniformed police patrolled the streets to prevent crime, to interrupt crimes in progress, and to apprehend criminals. However, research since the 1960s has shown the limits of both patrol and investigation for controlling crime. Patrol officers did not effectively prevent crime by questioning suspects, victims, and witnesses. In the 1990s, the police adopted predictive policing strategies in which police initiate action instead of waiting for calls. Patrol remains the backbone of police operations. It consumes most of the resources of police agencies. On patrol, a police officer makes regular circuits or passes through a specific area. Studies of foot patrol indicate that these patrols are costly and do not reduce crime. Because crime is not evenly distributed throughout a community, which means some places need more patrol than others. The tradition of giving each neighborhood an equal amount of patrol wastes police resource, so the tradition of giving each neighborhood an equal amount of patrol just wastes police resources, however, which can make citizens less fearful of crime and improve citizen attitudes toward the police(CliffsNotes.com.). While predictive police operations focus on the concentration of crime in certain offenders, places, and victims. Predictive operations include using decoys, going undercover, raiding, relying on informants, stopping and frisking suspects, shadowing repeat offenders, policing repeat-complaint locations, and saturating an area with police to maintain order which can be an effective method to prevent crime(CliffsNotes.com.). 2. Describe how COMPSTAT, as an information system (IS), implements the four (4) basic IS functions: 1. Input, 2. Processing, 3. Output, 4. Feedback. COMPSTAT is the name given to the New York City Police Department's accountability process and has since been replicated in many other departments. COMPSTAT is a management philosophy or organizational management tool for police departments, roughly equivalent to Six Sigma or TQM, and is not a computer system or software package.” (State of CA, 2010). COMPSTAT as an information system implements the four basic IS functions in the following ways: Input
Data gathering process which is the building block of COMPSTAT is comprised of...
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