Assignment 1: Predictive Policing
Karla N. Osorno
CIS 500 - Information Systems for Decision Making
Professor: Alex Lazo
July 13, 2012
1. Compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police department’s performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets. Compare the application of IT versus random patrol of the streets: a. Both random patrol of the streets and Compstat want to make communities safer by reducing crime. b. To both of them, their fundamental mission is to serve the members of the public who are certainly concerned about safe streets but also want a positive and constructive relationship with the officers who patrol their neighborhoods. c. Scarcity of resources and political pressures may limit departments’ freedom to allocate resources to specific crime problems. d. Compstat and community policing, are on opposing cultural assumptions, is a significant challenge facing police leaders in the twenty-first century.
Contrast: IT versus random patrol of the streets:
a. The police departments that utilize COMPSTAT are based on the collection of information and analysis of such information contrary to random patrol of the streets, which do not utilize data collection and neither it’s analyzed. b. Previously to Compstat, the departments had merely conducted an annual review of local Part I crime rates collected in the UCR. The purpose of this brief examination was to provide departments with a general indication of their overall crime-control performance for the preceding year. c. In contrast to the sluggish availability of these data and their relatively narrow focus, each department’s Compstat program played a continuous and critical role in the department-wide process of identifying specific crimes as soon as they emerged, driving decision making, and facilitating problem solving strategies. d. The three departments now have daily access to police reports, as well as weekly or biweekly crime statistics. In Minneapolis, moreover, maps were also available daily. In addition to being timely, data are routinely processed and geo-coded to help district commanders discover underlying factors explaining or linking the occurrence of a number of crime events. Thus, crime analysis is significantly more sophisticated than it was in the past. e. In contrast of how data were used before Compstat, the departments are exploring two specific challenges associated with the data process: how data were checked for accuracy and what data were selected, or were overlooked. Respondents in all three departments said that data reliability was an important component of their Compstat programs. There are few systematic checks for data accuracy, such as drawing a random sample of record and double-checking them to see what percentage were reported accurately. Anomalous crime spikes or downturns, which suggested errors in reporting or time frame, might be caught during Compstat meetings, and top management in Minneapolis was attentive to this. f. Collaboration and free-flowing debate may be at odds with a traditional police culture that has long socialized officers to follow orders and defer to rank. Once the new program is implemented, the Police Department would utilize compstat based on the compstat ‘s strategy only. g. Police may be reluctant to follow innovative approaches when the wrong decision may lead to waste of precious resources. It may require them to educate their officers in the basic principles of data analysis, to include the rank and file in the Compstat process, and find better ways to use resources so they can meet the needs of the two competing programs. h. It is likely that officers who accept Compstat would perform better in the service of Compstat’s crime-fighting mandate. It is also probable that officers with an analytical understanding of crime problems and a handle on crime data would...
References: Turban, E., & Volotino, L., (2011). Information technology for management, 8th ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p.14
Willis, J.J., Mastrofski, S.D., & Weisburd, D. (2003). Compstat in practice: An in-depth analysis of three cities. Police Foundation. http://www.policefoundation.org/pdf/compstatinpractice.pdf Retrieved July 9, 2012.
Erica Goode, The New York Times, Published August 15, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2012
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