This article is part three of a four-part series on intelligence and reporting tools Part one | Part two | Part three
Data analysis plays an important role for public safety agencies as it can be used to help predict, reduce and prevent crimes. However, this is only possible when agencies possess the tools necessary to extract data from their public safety software system.
For example, if an agency needs to know how many tickets were issued in a specific week, a standard data analysis tool can generate a report with that information. This type of interaction is transactional in that it provides users with what they asked for, but it does not offer anything additional.
To obtain additional information, public safety agencies need to use an intelligence and analytical tool that can do more with the data.
A robust intelligence and analytical tool is going to look at tickets issued and instantly break them down by time of day, day of the week, the frequency in which tickets were issued, what locations in a jurisdiction received tickets, and the percentage of increase for each of those issues. This same tool will display this information in Microsoft Excel pivot tables so it is easily digestible by users.
With Excel pivot tables, users can extract any information they request, so long as it exists in the system. Information is then generated in real-time and creates a report in less than 30 seconds. Without this tool, the same process could take hours.
Having this capability to use actionable intelligence stored in a public safety agency's own system provides users with the ability to generate a plan of action to predict, reduce and prevent crime.
Part 2 of a 4-part series on intelligence and reporting tools Part one | Part two | Part three
The right kind of tools can enhance any task, and that's especially true for public safety agencies using big data.
When law enforcement agencies and fire departments analyze vast amounts of data using intelligence and analytical reporting tools, actionable intelligence is generated. This intelligence helps command staff identify trends, allocate or reallocate resources and predict, prevent or reduce crime.
But to make use of data that can help create actionable intelligence, it's important to use an intelligence and analytical tool that stores data on a Microsoft SQL server.
The SQL server has the ability to analyze vast amounts of data and present information in a digestible manner. The server can instantly compile data into digital cubes so users can extract information from the data and present the material in an Excel spreadsheet or heat map.
For example, if command staff wanted to know where most accidents were occurring in town, the right intelligence and analytical reporting tool would be able to show where accidents occurred, when they occurred, the frequency in which they occurred, and the time of day that they occurred.
The right tool can also identify correlations in the data and present information to users that could have been otherwise overlooked. To do this, the data is shown on a heat map, providing a visual representation of the data queried.
However, that does not mean the tool will present an agency or department with what it needs to do to reduce incidents. Rather, it provides the actionable intelligence so public safety professionals can make decisions based on data.
With this information, resources can be reallocated so that accidents or crimes or whatever the issue at hand is can be reduced. This leads to safer communities and more lives saved.
Part one of a four-part series on intelligence and reporting toolsPart one | Part two | Part three
When public safety agencies have the ability to take big data and make it work for them, they're able to reduce crime and keep communities safer.
Consider this — a police department in an average-sized city might interact with thousands of people on a yearly basis. This interaction could be through responding to calls for service, making arrests, booking criminals into the county jail, taking reports, managing lost or stolen property, or handling pieces of evidence. All of these interactions generate data which is often times needed for future use, so that data gets stored or archived.
If this data is stored in a Microsoft SQL server database, it can easily be recalled later, and used by sworn officers and civilian staff. That means when analytical information is needed, which includes everything from names, numbers, addresses, case numbers and anything else that comes into the server, public safety personnel can extract that data and generate reports.
By using an intelligence and reporting tool to work with that data and generate reports, sworn officers and civilian staff are better able to identify trends or patterns that impact public safety. The tool can easily cut through large swaths of data and pinpoint what is needed by the civilian staff or sworn officer. The information then becomes digestible and easy to use.
Intelligence and reporting tools also help illustrate trends or patterns that may be occurring in a community. When these trends are highlighted by these tools, an agency's command staff is better able to allocate resources to specific areas, which helps to reduce crime and improve the safety of the community.
From identifying bodies to capturing fugitives, the stories from The Call show the type of situations public safety personnel throughout the United States handle on a daily basis.
In the last four months, our most popular articles include:
Burglary Ring Busted by Law Enforcement
The Facts About Text-to-911
Police Keep Community Safe Using Mission-Critical Data
These articles highlight how public safety officials keep communities safe as well as the importance of keeping up with industry trends like Next Generation 911.
Have a story you would like to share with the call? Let us know!
There is a significant amount of work required behind-the-scenes in every emergency response, and it all starts with computer-aided dispatch (CAD).
When a call for service comes in to a 9-1-1 communication center, dispatchers immediately get to work sending a response. From there, first responders head out to provide assistance in whatever manner they are needed. But that doesn't mean the dispatchers' role in the response ends.
For instance, when officers respond to a call for service, they stay in contact with dispatchers at the communication center using their mobile data terminals (MDTs) located in their vehicles.
By staying in contact, dispatchers are able to route first responders to the scene and attach real-time updates about the call for service that first responders can see using their MDTs as they travel to the incident.
CAD systems with automatic vehicle location (AVL) functionality offer additional benefits as they provide dispatchers and first responders the ability to see where all first responders' vehicles are located on a digital map.
With AVL, a global positioning system (GPS) is set up on an agency's mobile server and configured so GPS data is sent to the mobile software located in an officer's vehicle. This signal is also sent to other units within the agency and to dispatch. To do this, AVL technology constantly sends latitude and longitude coordinates back to the CAD system so that the unit's location is always known by the agency's dispatchers.
AVL functionality helps dispatchers with routing as it helps direct patrol officers to the location of a call for service and provides continuous estimated time of arrival (ETA) data. By knowing where all first responders are on the map, CAD managers are able to help ensure communities have a robust level of patrol in all areas.
While the work of dispatchers happens outside of the public eye, they play a vital role in emergency responses and providing public safety to communities everywhere.
Next Generation 911 (NG 9-1-1) is a hot topic for public safety agencies across the United States.
This initiative, which was set forth by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), is aimed at updating 9-1-1 services to accommodate a growing wireless society. It consists of numerous stages, all of which should be completed by 2020.
Until that time, public safety answering points (PSAPs) across the country will be preparing to adhere to guidelines set forth by NENA so they will have the ability to handle modern, mixed media messages from the public.
Text-to-911 is one of the first steps many PSAPs are undertaking along the NG 9-1-1 journey. As TTY (text telephone) services are phased out, the deaf and hearing impaired community will need a way to communicate with emergency services. Text-to-911 will replace TTY services, so it is imperative all PSAPs throughout the country are able to receive, handle and respond to these messages.
As of late 2016, less than 15 percent of PSAPs in the U.S. have the ability to accept text messages.
However, many PSAPs throughout the country are readying themselves for NG 9-1-1 and its various phases so they are prepared when all guidelines are established.
Once all guidelines are in place, PSAPs will have the direction to receive voice, text and data sent over IP networks from various communication devices.
In the world of emergency situations, every second counts. That's why it is important for dispatchers to never have to worry about their computer aided dispatch (CAD) system going down.
Although rare, CAD systems can go down for a variety of reasons. One reason some are taken down deliberately is to update geographic information system (GIS) data imperative to routing.
Keeping GIS information current is a crucial component to maintaining faster and smarter response times. While there is a plethora of GIS data about a community that does not change, certain elements need to be updated from time to time, such as a new development being built, road closures and construction.
This updated information provides greater accuracy and helps dispatchers and first responders continuously provide a high-level of service to the community.
Some CAD software still requires going offline in order to update GIS data because their systems are unable to update in real time and stay online. It's Important to have a system that allows for the updating of GIS data without having to take that system down, as this lets dispatchers and first responders have constant access to data.
When a CAD system is taken offline, calls for service are still handled, but dispatchers are required to use radio communication. Deliberately taking a CAD system offline to update GIS data meant that calls for service suffer from not having important information available at all times.
In less than three days, a convicted murderer who escaped from a Kankakee County jail was back behind bars.
Kamron Taylor was an inmate at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee. He was convicted of murder and was awaiting sentencing for that crime when he escaped from jail.
To escape, Taylor choked and beat a corrections officer, then donned the man’s clothing and walked out of the detention center. He stole the officer’s vehicle and made his way to Chicago.
While Taylor was on the lam, dozens of tips came in to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. Becky Powell, Investigation’s Office Manager for the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, entered each tip into the records system used by the sheriff’s office. This data entry helped to build a robust file on Taylor so that no piece of evidence or minor detail was overlooked.
Having been in the county’s corrections facility already, Taylor’s record was already detailed, which is what ultimately helped identify him when he was captured by Chicago police.
When Chicago police apprehended Taylor, he repeatedly gave a fake name to Chicago authorities to avoid going back to jail. However, Chicago police contacted the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office as they were confident that the man they had in custody fit the description of Kankakee’s escaped convict.
A positive identification was made when Taylor’s neck tattoo of the name Gertrude was found in the records and corrections system used by the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. Fingerprints taken by Chicago police further proved Taylor’s true identity.
“As soon as the Chicago police reached out to us, we were able to provide them with the identifying information that they needed to get Kamron Taylor back into Kankakee’s custody,” Powell said.
Taylor was sentenced to 107 years in prison for murder and has since been named as a suspect in at least one other unsolved murder case.
In almost every town in the United States, there are areas that the locals know to avoid if they want to get someplace quickly.
These areas could involve one-way bridges, dirt roads that always wash out after a storm, shorter-than-average overpasses and other potential traffic hazards.
But people can’t always know every backroad in each community. This is especially true when it comes to emergency dispatching services.
Since no community is the same, it is important for computer aided dispatching (CAD) software and emergency 9-1-1 dispatchers using that software to also have solid geographic information system (GIS) data to support real-world scenarios that can impact routing.
Imagine leveraging GIS routing data such as one-ways, speed limits, travel time, max height and weight, and anything else specific to a community right within the CAD software. This would ensure a faster, data-driven response and avoid potential traffic hazards that could delay a response.
For instance, CAD software with the ability to take a community’s unique GIS data into consideration would prevent a ladder truck from being routed over a town’s old wooden bridge with a weight restriction or low overhang.
Using this data, dispatchers would be able to route vehicles to a call for service without ever having to worry about the emergency vehicle encountering a scenario that could delay service.
A community’s unique GIS data helps dispatchers to always send the fastest, smartest response.
When a body was found in the Kankakee River in the spring of 2016, public safety professionals worked quickly to identify the remains.
What was known about the body at the time of discovery was that it was a badly decomposed black male who had likely been in the water for up to 10 days. Fingerprint detection was impossible due to the decomposition, which meant public safety officials had to look elsewhere for information.
Using the approximate height, weight, age and race of the body, authorities searched through a national missing person's database in an attempt to identify the man, but found no matching results. National databases such as Forensic Filer and TLOxp Transunion are costly and can take months to generate leads.
However, a break in the case came when the county coroner discovered a rose tattoo on the body. This tattoo, which was located on the neck, was enough of a distinguishing characteristic that the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office would have it in their records and corrections system if the man had ever been in custody.
Trent Bukowski, IT Director for the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office, searched through his public safety software database to see if any records of previous inmates had a neck tattoo matching the description. Bukowski had a match within minutes.
Using the scars, marks and tattoos module inside the corrections system, Bukowski generated a list of 68 current and former inmates who had neck tattoos. Based on the location of the tattoo on the unidentified man's body, the list of possible matches was brought down to eight. By examining the photos of these eight individuals with neck tattoos, investigators were able to match the unidentified man's tattoo to his booking photo found in the corrections system.
With the identity of the body known, the man's family was contacted and officials were able to close the case. Drowning was the official cause of death for the man found in the river, and drugs were also found in his system.
Automation Streamlines Processes
Multi-Jurisdictional Data Sharing
Using New World Public Safety Software in One of the Fastest Growing Cities in Arizona
See all videos »