The Real-time Police Force: Publishing Analytic Information to the Field with HunchLab
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Police agencies collect a wealth of data. Every call for services and every incident of crime is captured and logged (and often automatically geocoded to a point in space). Making sense of this wealth of data is critical to police agencies being led by intelligence and analysis and not simply putting cops out into the field haphazardly.
Most police forces have a process whereby this raw information is groomed into maps by a central crime analysis unit. Determining where hotspots are present and describing recent events is definitely useful, but how can we accelerate this process to adapt our analytic output in nearly real-time and then disseminate this information to the field?
The answer is by automating the flow of information. We see this feature as a core strength within our product, HunchLab. New information is automatically pulled into HunchLab through integration with police agencies computer aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS). This new information is then immediately incorporated into analytic output. New incidents can trigger early warning alerts for spikes in activity or modify short-term risk assessment in a particular police district. But it's not just about consuming this information within HunchLab itself. The system provides secure access to analytic output via APIs that can be integrated into other back-end applications, further analytic tools, and even mobile applications.
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