Columbia, South Carolina police departments deploy GIS for advanced crime analysis

Columbia, South Carolina police departments deploy GIS for advanced crime analysis


California, USA, 7 August 2006: The Columbia, South Carolina police departments are now using ArcGIS software for advanced crime analysis that is enabling them to fight crime. The departments implemented ESRI-based Crime Analysis Tools (CAT) from Bradshaw Consulting Services, Inc. (BCS), an ESRI business partner.

Columbia police department’s decision to implement an advanced GIS-based solution came in recognition of the technology’s ability to integrate disparate, complex datasets and create highly accurate, information-rich crime maps that support all aspects of law enforcement and community policing. In addition, Columbia police department can leverage the City’s GIS Department resources, which also utilize ESRI technology. The City’s basemap data, aerial photography, and other datasets are integrated within the Crime Analysis Unit’s GIS solution.

The CAT tools are used to compile GIS crime analysis maps on a daily basis. The solution integrates data from various police department and city sources to determine crime trends and/or patterns. Data for time, location, demographics, economics, traffic flow, and more can be mapped and analyzed to determine where the problems are, how to respond to specific incidents, and how to deter and prevent future crime. In addition, GIS allows distributed data access and analysis for various law enforcement staff. This includes police officers in the field who can have fast access to essential information when it is made available.

The visual representation of crime data also increases the level of communication throughout the agency. Crime analysts are able to produce continuously updated crime maps that are distributed throughout Columbia police department including to law enforcement commanders, investigators, and police officers working on patrol.

Lew Nelson, law enforcement industry manager, ESRI, said, “The visual representation of data in the form of a map and the integration and data access capabilities of GIS all provide powerful automation tools to police agencies involved in intelligence-led policing. The BCS solution gives law enforcement agencies an easy-to-use, functionally rich application tailored to meet the needs of law enforcement.”