Compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets
CompStat, short for Computer Statistics, is an organizational management tool designed for use by police departments to reduce crime, improve the quality of life and manage resources and personnel within these departments. This is achieved with the help of Geographical Information Systems to map crime and identify problem areas. CompStat was originally developed by the New York Police Department (NYPD) as a means of dealing with crime activities at the precinct level but has since been adopted by other Police departments.
Every week, a summary of the complaints, summons and arrests, and a report of crime patterns, the police department personnel compile police activity and significant cases. It is then organized and loaded into a central database by the CompStat Unit. This unit then performs computer analysis and produces a weekly report containing the analyzed summary alongside other performance indicators. The leadership of the department to gauge and improve performance, and allocate resources to effectively reduce crime then uses the information produced. Since its adoption in 1994, the number of crimes reported declined by as much as 65% in some categories by 2003 (Kelling, 2003).
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