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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Evaluation of Location-Based Services for Police

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used by police departments to visualize the location of crime events and addresses of persons of interest stored in a centralized database on a digital map and to model crime patterns for criminal activity prediction. Most police departments, however, have not yet integrated their GIS data with Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) and Global Position Systems (GPS) for use in their field operations. This lack of integration inhibits law enforcement capabilities, in terms of being able to identify points of interest like the address of an individual with a recently issued arrest warrant. This study examined laptop and hand-held computing devices that integrate geospatial technologies for use by Lincoln police officers. Geocoded police data were incorporated into the moving map of an AVL system, so that police officers are constantly being presented with information about events or persons of interest (sex offenders, paroles, gang members, etc.) relevant to their current position. The ability to instantaneously visualize information is expected to increase efficiently serving warrants, monitoring parolees, or recognizing crime patterns. Participants for this study were police officers from the Lincoln Police Department with oversight from Tom Casady project Co-PI.

Lincoln police employ smartphone technology to fight crime. .mp3 NET Radio. 06-14-11


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