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2007 Best Practices Award Winner: Richmond Police Department
Combining technology expertise from SPSS and Information Builders, the Richmond Police Department (RPD) is now using predictive analysis and business intelligence technology to apply information-based policy.

Category: Government and non-profit
Solution Sponsor: Information Builders

The Richmond, VA, police department needed an analytic system that would help determine the probability of particular types of crime occurring in specific areas at specific times. Combining technology expertise from SPSS and Information Builders, the Richmond Police Department (RPD) is now using predictive analysis and business intelligence technology to apply information-based policy. 

Business Impact

The RPD system’s predictive analytics capabilities help determine where a crime may occur and empower officers at all levels to take immediate actions. Overall, the system delivers accurate insight into where crimes might occur, increases public safety, and reduces the number of calls for assistance. From 2006 to 2007, major crime was down 19%; from 2005 to 2006, it was down 21%.

Maturity: The Future of Law Enforcement

 In 2002, RPD procured an enterprise data-mining workbench from SPSS to predict patterns of behavior that would help them use police resources more effectively. Recognizing the value in this statistical analysis system, in 2005 and 2006 RPD enhanced the system by deploying Information Builders’ WebFOCUS BI tools in conjunction with GIS mapping software from ESRI. The benefits of the system have surpassed original expectations.

 Relevance: Real-Time, Actionable and Mobile Data

The three key elements contributing to the success of the project are real-time information, usability, and portability.

The agility and responsiveness of the RPD system gives officers fresh information at every eight-hour shift change, and some data are updated continuously.

 Information Builders tied components of WebFOCUS into mapping software from ESRI to create an easy-to-understand, intuitive presentation of the law enforcement application. Dashboards serve as the key interface. The system offers point-and-click drill-down capability and visual representation of current analytic data.

The new application’s portability is crucial to successful deployment. With data terminals in their cars, officers receive alerts, conduct planning, and develop strategies, and supervisors are able to review performance outcomes in each area.

Innovation

The predictive analysis system uses a database of arrests, past calls to police, and crime incidents—some going back 15 years.Advanced analytics from SPSS are used to examine how current crime reports relate to data on past, present, and projected future actions. Advanced analytics include statistical, mathematical, and other algorithmic techniques. From this advanced analysis,RPD’s systemallows crime analysts to examine the interaction among data and more knowledgeably deploy police resources to deter crime.