Las Vegas, Rochester upgrade police force with crime analytics

Police officers in Las Vegas and Rochester, Minn. are working to beef up their crime-fighting intelligence with new crime analytics software.

Police officers in Las Vegas and Rochester, Minn. are working to beef up their crime-fighting intelligence with new crime analytics software.

IBM announced on Wednesday that it is working with police departments in both cities with the aim of improving information-sharing between the police and regional partners -- the Henderson police department, the U.S. Air Force at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada's Highway Patrol, etc. -- in the interest of public safety.

In Las Vegas, that capability comes from COPLINK crime analytics software made by i2, which allows cops to "make non-obvious connections" about cases based on information that normally is scattered across the department. One ancillary benefit: it might save money, too.

In Rochester, the police department will work with Schaumburg, Ill., based Alpine Consulting to develop a more sophisticated analytics platform based on IBM's framework, specifically around its InfoSphere Identity Insight software.

New York, Los Angeles, Memphis and Tucson use similar systems.

The point is to remove public data from silos and put it together so it can be cross-referenced by anyone in the department at any time. In Las Vegas, for example, data is housed in four separate databases -- meaning cross-referencing involves a person checking them individually, hardly a time-sensitive task.

Better still, the data can be shared beyond Nevada borders, so peer police departments can see what they're doing right or wrong.

Graphic: The COPLINK CompStat Analyzer at work in Tucson, Ariz.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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