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It is well understood that solving a crime is often a lengthy process, requiring much patience as information is pieced together from various sources. Greater insight is now available through advanced technology to help analysts solve crimes quicker. These new tools pick up on trends that may have previously gone unnoticed.
Newport Beach Police Department, a SunGard Public Sector customer since 2014, uses the company’s Crime Analysis Plus (CA+) application with their Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Records Management System (RMS), and other modules in the SunGard Public Sector ONESolution suite to solve crimes faster. CA+ aggregates and visually displays crime-related information so officers can see where crimes are being committed, and get a better idea of who might be committing them. The Newport Beach crime suppression team takes information from CAD (where officers are deployed), and RMS (criminal arrest records), and visualizes the information in a way that can be easily digested and used to make actionable decisions.
In addition to displaying crime trends, CA+ also has built-in keyword functionality, allowing officers to search on specific words or phrases. In Newport Beach, officers often make notes about crimes where surfers’ cars are being broken into, so the word ‘surf’ might return information about related crimes in the area. Officers can then see trends and patterns, and adjust their patrols accordingly.
CA+ also provides a level of predictability. Newport Beach Deputy Police Chief Dennis Birch and his crime suppression team recently noticed a higher volume of house calls related to burglaries around dinner time. While looking at data in CA+, Chief Birch was able to proactively deploy officers to be visible during dinner hours, resulting in a reduction of that type of crime.
“Ultimately, we really like the CA+ tool, but it is more than that, it is the entire SunGard Public Sector system,” said Chief Birch. “The folks at SunGard Public Sector have been very helpful as we’ve continued to customize and refine the platform to really make it work for us.”
For more information on SunGard Public Sector’s CA+, please click here.
ONESolution Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) from SunGard Public Sector connects emergency responders and dispatch personnel to life-saving information. However, before it’s deployed in the field, the software must be load tested to ensure it holds up to real-world demands and real-world users. The process helps to establish baseline metrics, such as checking for load, volume, and scalability, while identifying bottlenecks and applying fixes for improvement. Load testing is commonly used, but particularly crucial, in producing simulations that mirror real life incidents – often high pressure situations, when lives are at stake.
SunGard Public Sector recently enlisted the help of Microsoft to load test the capacity of its ONESolution CAD at large-scale implementations for Tier 1 agencies across the country. Over the course of two weeks of load testing at a Microsoft lab, the SunGard Public Sector team was pleased to see that ONESolution CAD successfully processed 1,000 calls per hour, with all the measured transactions executing subsecond. This load test included 200 CAD workstations and simulated over 5,000 mobiles. Additionally, most of the transactions like E911, arrive, at hospital, reset watchdog timer, and clearing durations were all processed in under ½ a second.
In short, ONESolution CAD met or exceeded the Performance Acceptance Criteria (PAC) as defined by the test plan, proving the software, already widely used in agencies across the United States, is more than capable of handling the demands of major cities and counties.
With 30 years’ experience providing software solutions to PSAPs, SunGard Public Sector understands that the most important aspect of a CAD system is its reliability and performance. The standards set at the Microsoft lab continues in the SunGard environment with the testing of each new release of ONESolution CAD, using the same scenarios and measurements that exceed the demands of large agencies.
We know that software reliability is paramount to our public safety customers and it is also of utmost importance to SunGard Public Sector.
It is a popular saying that most crimes are solved within the first 48 hours or they are not solved at all. It can be significantly more difficult for sworn officers of the law to bring together all the necessary pieces of information to solve a crime. Newport Beach Deputy Police Chief Dennis Birch believed he could put that paradigm to the test when armed with SunGard Public Sector’s Crime Analysis Plus (CA+), a tool that extends the shelf life of information collected by police to glean new insights about what is going on in a given community.
“Recently, we received a call about a prowler from one of our residents. After dispatching officers to investigate, he found no suspect but did collect information from the caller about the suspicious individual who had a flashlight and seemed interested in a Jaguar that was parked in the driveway,” Deputy Chief Birch recalled.
“Fast forward a few hours, an officer on patrol stopped an individual who was riding a bike that matched the description of a missing bike from a burglary in the same area as the prowling call. We booked and searched him, and discovered a set of Jaguar keys. Well, thanks to the keyword search in SunGard CA+, we were able to tie those keys to the Jaguar in the driveway from the prowling incident. We prevented car theft and found this suspect, thanks to CA+, and its integration with our records management system.”
This is just one story of how CA+’s search and mapping functions can be used to identify trends in crime, and help law enforcement officers solve crimes sometime after they occur.
Since March 2014, Newport Beach has been a user of CA+, which aggregates information collected about recorded crimes with an advanced mapping function that visually displays what types of crimes are occurring, where crimes are happening, when, and by whom. The system is fully integrated with CAD, RMS, and other elements of the SunGard Public Sector ONESolution suite, adding a critical function to an agency’s one-stop public safety and justice dashboard. The system pulls in information from ONESolution modules to let officers literally see on a map where arrests took places, in the context of where officers are patrolling. The platform leverages advanced GPS, meaning that users can configure maps to display accurate information about the topics they most need to learn about.
Chief Birch’s crime suppression team uses the keyword search function, which allows them to type in a single word (or words), to identify results of relevant crimes that have occurred in the community. “We often get complaints about surfers’ cars being broken into near the beach, so ‘surf’ has become one of the most popular search terms,” Chief Birch said. “With CA+, we have learned a lot more about where property theft is occurring, and where it is most likely to occur, and we’ve been able to modify our patrol patterns accordingly.”
The insights gleaned from CA+ are predictive, because an analysis of recent crime trends can help the department identify where incidents might happen next. For example, Chief Birch’s crime suppression unit was able to see that a higher volume of calls about house burglaries were happening around dinner time, meaning they might continue to happen at that same time and the agency should respond accordingly by deploying officers at that time. “The team uses the tool every day and pushes new information to patrol officers, who change patrol patterns to match recent crime trends,” Chief Birch adds.
Because CA+ records crimes and also police activity, it has helped the Newport Beach Police Department remain accountable to the community. “We have had some trouble with complaints from patrons at some of the bars near the beach,” Chief Birch said. “With CA+, we are able to report exactly what those complaints were, and what we did in response.” The heat maps created within CA+ help us visualize this data, which assists Newport Beach Police Department in internal resource management, and reporting to city council and the general public at large.
“Ultimately, we really like the CA+ tool, but it is more than that, it is the entire SunGard Public Sector system,” said Chief Birch. Chief Birch finds CA+ as the natural extension of his ONESolution suite. He is now able to take the information from CAD (where his officers are being deployed), and RMS (who is being arrested), and visualize it in a way that he can easily digest and use the information to make actionable decisions. “The folks at SunGard Public Sector have been very helpful as we’ve continued to customize and refine the platform to really make it work for us.”
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Local governments, public safety and justice agencies, non-profit organizations, and the citizens they serve can envision the future happening today with SunGard Public Sector.