Small But Mighty
- Submitted by:
- Paul Sweet
- Cobourg Police Service
- Submitted on:
- 04 May, 2012
- Organizational Impact Award
- Government - Federal/State/Local
- Products Used:
- MapInfo Professional, MapMarker Plus, Crime Profiler, StreetPro
- Total Votes:
- 1219 Please Sign In to Vote
The Cobourg Police Service is a municipal policing agency in Southern Ontario with 31 uniformed officers supported by 36 civilian support staff. They police a community of 18,210 with 7,142 households. The agency is part of OPTIC (Ontario Police Technology and Information Cooperative) sharing a database using the NICHE Records Management System. The Coburg Police Service has both a rich heritage in serving the town and policing from one of the most historic buildings in Cobourg. Using the best of the past and working in the present and having its path in the future the CPS delivers quality policing to the citizens of Cobourg.
Cobourg Police Services drives efficiencies through use of advance crime profiling and automation. Resulting in improved analysis of crime trends and a more efficiently use of analysts time.
The Cobourg Police Service is a municipal policing agency in Southern Ontario with 31 uniformed officers supported by 36 civilian support staff. They police a community of 18,210 with 7,142 households. The agency is part of OPTIC (Ontario Police Technology and Information Cooperative) sharing a database using the NICHE Records Management System. The Police Services Act of Ontario, a statute governing policing agencies in the province, contains regulations requiring all police chiefs to have the capacity for crime, disorder, and calls-for-service analysis. Looking to develop a crime analysis component, Chief of Police Paul Sweet sought to evaluate products, systems and training to manage data and provide a capacity for mapping calls-for-service and reported crime locations. Two criteria for purchase was cost and ease-of-use. They wanted a product that did not require a highly specialized user to operate.
Cobourg Police evaluated the Crime Analysis Solution (CAS) software and data bundle offering from Pitney Bowes Software which included the following products:
- MapInfo Professional
- MapMarker Plus
- Crime Profiler
Armed with a "Quick-Start" Tip-Sheet and some guidance from a local Pitney Bowes partner, Cobourg Police was able to quickly produce crime reports providing them with insight into spatial trends in their crimes and calls-for-service. Chief Paul Sweet immediately saw the value and acquired the CAS Bundle which included four days of training and implementation. After the first week, Jan Monteith, an eight-year identification technician veteran with the Cobourg Police Service and now its first crime analyst, demonstrated the department's newest crime-fighting tool, which leveraged their NICHE RMS data of criminal incidents into easy-to-read maps and charts, at their February 25, 2010 Cobourg Police Services Board meeting.
The new software has the ability to track crimes by categories, including residential and non-residential break-ins, mischief, stolen vehicles, theft from automobiles and car accidents. The information is an invaluable tool for officers, who now will be able to better-target patrols when and where their efforts are most needed. Their officers can now be proactive rather than reactive in their fight against crime.
As an example, the collision frequency chart function has the ability to break down accident occurrences to location, time of day, day of the week and month of the year. When Jan analyzed all reported motor vehicle collision data for 2009, it was discovered the corner of Strathy Road and Elgin Street is Cobourg's highest MVC intersection, which was "a total surprise to officers." After the first week, its benefits started to pay off. Based on the collision data, officers targeted a patrol of the MVC hot spot where they saw many drivers making left-hand turns on amber and red lights.
Cobourg Police partnered with other police agencies to lower the overall costs through a multi-agency acquisition. Police Services Board Chairman Bryan Baxter noted that "the acquisition of the new software is an example of the amazing things that can happen when police services work together."
The Cobourg Police analyst can now produce a weekly crime mapping report in 10 minutes, and a monthly stats report in 30 seconds, affording her the time she requires for analysis of their crime reports. The crime analysis information is now available to all officers over their internal website, however, the current hard copies of the data could eventually be replaced by in-car access as the force moves closer to computer access in its cruisers.
As a result of their success, within just over a year, agencies in the region that has made the Pitney Bowes CAS Bundle their standard for Crime Mapping and Analysis has grown dramatically.