Establishing a Paperless Crime Analysis Network

By Lutz, W. E. | Law & Order, May 2000 | Go to article overview

Establishing a Paperless Crime Analysis Network


Lutz, W. E., Law & Order


Most law enforcement executives are by now familiar with both computer mapping and networking. Computer mapping is a powerful tool, merging raw street intelligence and advanced data tables into a vigorous medium suitable for both large and small-scale agencies, while data processing networks/local area networks are the standard norm for any agency.

The amount of time, data and personnel often determines the workload of any computer mapping effort. Limited budget demands dominate most agencies, and getting the most for your dollar is the constant challenge with today's limited resources. The process detailed in this article offers a powerful, yet simple tool, enabling an agency to get the most out of its data network.

Using standard desktop computers and basic office networks, we describe procedures enabling a paperless crime analysis service through a distributed network. Crime analysis reports, bulletins and detailed data mapping distributed over an agency-wide network can be achieved at little extra cost, regardless of the agency's size.

The Basics

For purposes of this article, we assume your agency operates primarily upon a Windows NT network (stay tuned for future articles discussing Linux applications); similar applications are available with Novell systems. Within your data network, you will have enabled a functional 'intranet,' a website that serves as a crossroads for your various internal bureaus and offices. Through intranets, system users access the data network from their workstations through a browser (Netscape or Explorer, depending upon your choice) and click upon various options. We will exploit this network option to our advantage.

MapInfo was used for this article, although other mapping programs (ArcView, ArcInfo) allow the same procedures to take place. We also assume that your agency operates with a fully functioning crime analysis/mapping unit enabling personnel to routinely retrieve and map any and all significant crime activity.

You will soon find that, upon completion of this approach, personnel will become hungry for the data that's created. Once started, your agency will find it hard to go back!

To create a paperless crime analysis network, follow these steps:

1) Retrieve and export your data.

Obtain data from your storage point as you normally would for a crime mapping effort (i.e., downloading crime reports from your AS/400, network, mainframe, RAID, etc.). Whether you choose to export your data into Access, Paradox, Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, StarOffice or any other program format is irrelevant; use what is familiar and comfortable. What is important is that you are able to retrieve and export your data for usage into your mapping program on a routine basis.

Crime analysis information data should be clearly defined, timely and above all, relevant for the appropriate users. Unless the information you put out is useful and relevant, there is little reason why you should continue with this effort.

2) Begin mapping.

Initiate the mapping program, geocoding your dataset(s) as you normally would. Assign the appropriate (and most effective) symbols, labeling your map accordingly. Your primary goal is to make your maps clear and easy to view. Ask yourself whether this map could be readily duplicated on a copier in black and white. At this stage, what you see is what you and your agency are going to get.

For large or busy jurisdictions it is often wise to break maps into sectors or precincts (based upon your agency's designations). Larger maps tend to distort and confuse while smaller, more detailed maps offer clearly defined data points and relevant street locations. This is especially helpful if your agency employs walking beats.

Agencies using laptops will find this approach invaluable. Command personnel may conduct patrol assignments based upon the information they view from a patrol vehicle laptop; walking patrols naturally would prefer more detailed maps depicting neighborhoods or city clocks. …

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

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Establishing a Paperless Crime Analysis Network
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.