IBM Fighting Crime in Real Time

By Kane, Christopher | Law & Order, September 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

IBM Fighting Crime in Real Time


Kane, Christopher, Law & Order


Everyone from your neighbor to your representative in Congress has probably, at some time, shared his personal view for how technology could help law enforcement to make the public safer and more secure. At the same time, police managers know one of the fundamental aspects of reducing crime is the ability to access crucial information in a real-time environment, which narrows the gap between incident and apprehension.

IBM and Cognos recognized a critical point where technology and society intersect. This point is where technology could have a huge and tangible impact on society by applying data management and analysis techniques to solve the problem of multiple information sources and repositories. In the past, a gap here has limited law enforcement's ability to react quickly to both emerging and established crime trends.

"The Real Time Crime Center technologies placed unprecedented crimefighting capabilities into the hands of the NYPD, capabilities that were unthinkable just two years ago," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner V. James Onalfo, the chief information officer. "Before the creation of the Real Time Crime Center, it would take hours or days to access the wealth of information now available to detectives within minutes. The data integration backbone of the Real Time Crime Center, helps turn immense amounts of raw data from disparate sources into a cohesive and understandable 'big picture' that is immediately leverageable by detectives in the field."

Criminal investigation and community policing is, at its heart, a data intensive business function. To achieve the original goal of making America a safer and more secure place for all, police agencies must have access to the data they collect in real time. This helps front-line officers to both investigate crime more effectively and also respond in real time to emerging crime trends.

"Previously, when consolidating data across diverse systems, the NYPD relied on custom-coded, COBOL-based data integration programs, which are costly and time-consuming to write and difficult to change," Onalfo said. "We now have an enterprise data integration platform capable of sustaining our full range of integration projects in a high-quality, plug-and-play fashion. The Real Time Crime Center was up and running within nine months, or in just half the time that would have been required had the NYPD relied on traditional hand-coded integration methods."

The New York Police Department challenge was clear; develop a system to help officers through the gathering and dissemination of crime data and criminal information while also providing analysis of the crime statistics, trends and patterns in a manner making crime fighting faster and more efficient. One of the key methods of reducing crime is to shorten the time between the occurrence of a crime and the apprehension of the perpetrator. The Crime Information Warehouse (CIW) helps law enforcement officials do just that.

"We want to use every advantage technology has to offer in suppressing crime. With the Real Time Crime Center, our detectives have a new partner in crime fighting," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Today, most police departments gather data on offenses, arrests, suspects, victims and witnesses, and warehouse this data on separate, often incompatible IT systems. It can take a team of crime analysts days, or even weeks, to manually sift through hundreds of police reports and spreadsheets to identify a crime pattern or serial offender.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

IBM Fighting Crime in Real Time
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?