Law enforcement leverages predictive analytics to fight crime

Rochester, Minnesota and Las Vegas, Nevada are teaming up with IBM on using predicitive analytics for law enforcement. The efforts are part of IBM’s broader Smarter Cities initiative which uses analytics and other tools to provide big data to officials about how their cities and states look and operate. CivSource spoke with Mark Cleverley, Director, IBM Public Safety Solutions about the projects.

In Rochester, the Rochester Police department will use advanced analytics software from IBM to mine, share and extract intelligence from critical data in order to improve police investigative and prevention programs. Law enforcement will then be able to identify local “hot spots,” and allocate resources in advance.

The application, IBM InfoSphere Identity Insight, provides users with specific data from existing law enforcement and public safety databases to aid in investigations and prevention. “The technology will allow law enforcement officials to see broad patterns about activity in their city and focus on prevention,” Cleverley explains.

In Las Vegas, police there will use IBM’s COPLINK crime analytics software, a product already in place in more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide. COPLINK allows officers to accelerate their investigations by enabling them to make non-obvious connections based on information that was previously spread across the department. COPLINK will also allow the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to forge information sharing agreements with other law enforcement agencies that already use COPLINK inside and outside Nevada.

Las Vegas police were already using parts of the i2 crime analytics software from IBM – the broader suite which includes COPLINK, giving the department a more comprehensive crime analytics platform.

IBM is working to provide a broad spectrum of analytics solutions for cities Cleverley said. Last year, CivSource reported on another predictive analytics solution used by the Memphis police department. “All of these tools fit along the spectrum of analytics capabilities,” Cleverley said. “You can leverage analytics in a variety of different ways depending on the desired data and outcomes. Each city is using the tools in slightly different ways based on what makes sense for them.”

Cleverley noted that these types of applications can also help make the case for projects like the Public Safety Broadband Network. By giving law enforcement the infrastructure to handle data transfer, and communications at higher speeds throughout more locations officials will also see an improved user experience with applications like COPLINK.

“These tools can really help with the investigation process. For example, witnesses often recant in the hours after reporting a crime. What if law enforcement officials could replay a 911 call for the witness at the first visit, or show them some of the information they already have? It could save time, and strengthen the overall investigation process,” Cleverley said.

IBM has put together a YouTube video that demonstrates COPLINK’s capabilities here.