Johns Creek Pilots New Police Open Data Tool

Monday, March 28, 2016

Johns Creek Pilots New Police Open Data Tool

If you want to compare the number of citations your agency issued in one month to another month, how would you get the information? One option is searching your RMS – most modern Records Management Systems have the ability to search records by time, name, or location. But what if your agency is interested in looking at the bigger picture and really diving into trends? You might have to manually check records one by one. And if you want to analyze this information on the fly, or develop a report on crime and trends for a local government office or for a citizen because of a FOIA request, this most likely means valuable man hours spent by staff in your agency.

Thanks to SunGard Public Sector’s new Public Connect solution, this paradigm is shifting. Public Connect, powered by Socrata’s open data expertise, was developed by SunGard to address a growing need in the public safety community. The tool, which closely aligns with SunGard’s safety data standards and the White House’s Police Data Initiative, allows agencies to catalog data such as how officers are used, where they respond, and what they respond to. The resulting data is easily accessible, searchable, and indexable for other individuals within an agency or outside it.

“When I first saw Public Connect in action, I was stunned by the breadth of information that was available,” said Lieutenant Jon Moses, Johns Creek Police Department. “All the relevant crime stats, and information about our agency, were just a click away.”

Johns Creek Police Department in Johns Creek, GA is an early adopter of the Public Connect solution and is exploring some of the different ways they can learn about themselves by analyzing the data they’re collecting. “Public Connect gives us an opportunity to visualize the data in a way we couldn’t before,” added Lt. Moses. “We could see for example that responses to house alarms spike in July every year. We coordinate that information through our dispatch during that time of year to ensure officers will be where they need to be when they need to be there.”

Johns Creek’s Public Connect solution, called “Police View” by the agency is now online and can be seen here: https://policeview.johnscreekga.gov/.

The general public can benefit from Public Connect, too. The tool is very customizable depending on an agency’s needs, and can be configured for public use. Some agencies may set up online portals to allow the public to search police data quickly, potentially removing the need for FOIA requests.

“One of the benefits to us is that it was cost-neutral to implement,” added Lt. Moses. “It’s a new tool that provides new functionalities for our agency, but it also gives us an opportunity to consolidate or retire other assets.”

Click to download the complete case study.

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