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Comstat

In: Business and Management

Submitted By marlinjan
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Abstract This paper will compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets. It will describe how COMSTAT as an information system (IS) implements the four (4) basic (IS) functions; and it will discuss the fashion is which IT systems have made police departments more efficient in preventing and responding to crime. We will also explore the strengths, weaknesses, and SWOT analysis. This is essential for police departments that intend to use the implementation of the new predictive policing. 


1. Compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus random patrols of the streets. Information Technology (IT) has become a staple of current business, services, and life in around the world. It is used in almost every business organization one can think of. Information Technology makes life easier for us today in our daily operations. The ability it provides for us to communicate worldwide, store as well as retrieve data, and expand or reduce a footprint, and track things beyond measure has catapulted it to the forefront of business assets. In an effort to take advantage of this ability, public services have adopted technology as well. From Fire Departments, to government agencies, and police departments have applied IT with aspirations of optimizing performance and efficiency to reduce crime. As we spoke of earlier in this paragraph, the police use IT to: store the data of the previous crimes in a single location for easy access, share this data with database accessibility, and collaborate even though they are in different geographical locations. IT makes calculations on the collected data to come up with some predictions, patterns and tendencies.
2. Describe how COMPSTAT, as an information system (IS), implements the four (4) basic IS functions: Input, Processing, Output, Feedback.
As an information system COMPSTAT implements the first function of input due to the fact that “at the core of each activity is the use of computer-generated and other statistical data that are gathered in as close to real time as possible and subsequently presented in various formats in hard copy and electronically at CompStat meetings; formats include charts, graphs, maps, command profiles, and crime snapshot reports. The analysis of this information by command and staff officers then triggers action on identified problems.” Data and information about crimes are captured or collected and input into a computer system. (Godown, 2012)
The implementation of the second IS function, processing, is the data being manipulated or transformed into something useful. In other words take the input and “process” it so that it becomes useable to inform, to predict, to strategically plan preventative measures. Data goes through a metamorphosis of sorts and converted into analytical form. After the data is analyzed it then becomes output, which is the third IS function. Output, is the equivalent of rapid deployment such as now that there is a decision that has been made. A plan has been laid out using input, processing or analysis, and here we have action suggested. The fourth IS function, feedback, brings us into our follow up of all things past. An inspection of what was done, how it was done, and what can be done better in the future. A lesson’s learned which makes the process better, faster, and more efficient.
3. Determine how information systems have allowed police departments that implement tools such as COMPSTAT to respond to crime faster.
Police Departments are now able to respond to crime faster due to Information systems tools such as COMPSTAT. Information systems process data or “crunch numbers” faster than humans can analyze and react to a situation. Information systems have increased the ability to multitask as well as problem solving at higher rates than human beings can.
4. Apply the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis (SWOT analysis) on behalf of police departments that intend to implement predictive policing. The strength that stands out immediately and presents itself is the idea that the computer system is not as susceptible to error. Also an information system tends to give reliable information based on input facts, barring any erroneous information during the input stage. Which brings us to the weakness of the system, which in my opinion is simple……human error. The same errors that occurred before information systems can tend to occur still. When humans make mistakes, which they always do, then the input which is the Genesis of COMPSTAT is stained. There are huge opportunities to advance in the area. The faster network become, the more powerful software and programs become, and the more scalable information systems become, COMPSTAT can grow into the future and replace law enforcement as we know it today.

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