Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

More on proprietary big data systems

August 12, 2017

This article reports the experiences of several law enforcement agencies with Palantir’s data analysis systems. The company’s hardware and software systems, originally developed for intelligence agencies, help with integration and visualization of data stored in multiple “silos.” LAPD was able to cut the time required to produce Chronic Offender Bulletins from an hour to 3-5 minutes, which helped reduce violent crime in one target district by 15%. The systems are very expensive, however, and some users complain about hard-to-use software, costly upgrades, poor technical support, incompatibility with non-Palantir systems used by other agencies, and generally being at the mercy of the company once its products have been purchased and installed.


Re-energizing COP in Chicago

August 11, 2017

It might surprise some to know that Chicago had an innovative city-wide community policing strategy in the 1990s and early 2000s (known as CAPS) that was carefully evaluated, showing positive results. This article and this press release indicate that a new advisory committee is recommending the city return to that strategy as part of its response to current issues and problems. The committee’s report is here.

External review progress in Chicago

July 12, 2017

Chicago’s new Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) will replace the former Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) on September 15. The new agency is guaranteed funding of 1% of the police budget and will have 140 full-time employees, including 90 investigators. This article reports that COPA will also contract with technical experts in areas such as use of force, ballistics, and accident reconstruction to further its independence from the city’s police department.

Resident officers in Elgin & Rockford

July 1, 2017

This article reports that Rockford is adopting a resident officer program pioneered a couple of decades ago in Elgin, another Illinois city. The program gives officers rent-free homes in at-risk neighborhoods in return for a 2-5 year commitment. In Elgin, the chief and several commanders are alums of the program — one says “It’s a position that really builds great police officers.”

Pipeline to trouble starts early

April 28, 2017

According to this article, Illinois has a high rate of suspensions of kids from state-funded preschools. A coalition of police chiefs and prosecutors argues this is counter-productive and is asking the legislature to implement consistent standards for these preschools and professional development for their staffs.

Evidence management & control

March 8, 2017

One topic that doesn’t always get a lot of attention is evidence management, yet every police department comes into possession of drugs, cash, jewelry, and other valuable property. This article notes “weekly news accounts of police departments whose evidence rooms have been jeopardized due to lost or stolen evidence” and discusses the use of modern systems and technology for better control and risk reduction.

Taking unsolved murders seriously

February 9, 2017

This article describes work done by a former journalist to compile and analyze data on unsolved murders throughout the U.S. — well over 200,000 since 1980. Police departments initially ignored his data and alerts about cases possibly linked to serial killers, but have recently started to take notice.

Violent crime down in NYC

January 5, 2017

Shootings and homicides continued to decline in New York City in 2016, according to this article. The city had 4 shootings per 100,000 population, compared to 28 in Chicago. Overall, the city’s reported crime was down 4% compared to 2015.

Murders not solved in Chicago

November 6, 2016

This article reports on Chicago’s declining clearance rate for homicides, which has dropped from 80% to below 26% over the last 25 years. The volume of murders doesn’t account for the precipitous decrease — the city actually had twice as many killings back in 1991, but was much more successful at solving them.

Open data on police complaints

October 26, 2016

This article from the Sunlight Foundation provides an update on several local initiatives to make complaints data more accessible and transparent, with specific examples and links. Efforts in Indianapolis, New York, and Seattle are particularly noteworthy, as well as the White House Police Data Initiative.