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Merging Technologies for Better Policing

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2012
2 pages
This article describes how the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has merged technologies in order to efficiently and effectively deploy its resources to reduce crime rates.

The MPD uses crime mapping and predictive analytics to identify where to focus its resources, and video cameras are used to perform tactical analytics in assessing scenes, so as to identify crime locations, how many officers should respond, from which direction they should approach, and what they should do when they arrive. The city currently has about 200 cameras, and police are integrating mobile cameras and license-plate recognition cameras into the system. Mobile cameras have been purchased so as to allow police to move them in response to emerging crime trends and patterns. The department is in the process of identifying privately installed cameras on buildings, with the intent of persuading building owners to share surveillance information. The MPD envisions building a switchboard that allows the agency to pull in cameras from various sites in emergencies. The department has integrated the ShotSpotter system with a video system, so that a gunshot triggers the camera to automatically turn toward the direction from which the sound came. The MPD has recorded about a 48-percent reduction in Uniform Crime Reports Part I offenses since 1998, when it began to build its technological capabilities. Since 2005, the city has recorded crime-rate declines every year.

Date Published: February 1, 2012