Other reports using Impromptu and PowerPlay Reporter have been added to COMSTAT over the last year such as Street
Checks, Foot Patrols, Traffic Offences, YTD COMSTAT reductions. Calls for service are taken out of VCAP and used to
help manage locations with multiple calls better than before. By monitoring these on the same timelines, the calls are taken
from VCAP as a .dbf with x/y coordinates and mapped using ArcGIS to determine multiple calls at single locations. These
are passed on through COMSTAT to community policing supervisors or other units to have members attend those
locations to determine if there is something proactive we can do to reduce the number of calls. Perhaps we can work with
business owners to reduce victimization, maybe we can prevent a domestic situation, deal with chronic complainants, etc.
The effort is to reduce actual calls, where possible, and move away from continually responding to the same location.
PDF documents (from PowerPlay Reporter) of tracked offences over a 3-week period were the original start to show in
short stints what was happening with crime compared to the previous 3-week period. We were using just the PDF up on a
screen and buy-in was not as enthusiastic as what I had hoped for. Slow and steady wins the race! That report and
COMSTAT has slowly morphed into an in-depth crime comparison from one period to the next, comparing the same week
periods for the previous years as well. Now, when management asks where did those x numbers of Break & Enters
happen, I am able to use the drill through live with VCAP and mapping, down to zones, and specific areas. Then, senior
managers at the meeting can speak to their efforts in crime reduction right then and there. In addition to this, the PDFs for
the most part are now just used for publishing or communicating and the drill through in VCAP or the .dbf files saved from
Impromptu on all COMSTAT offences and seamlessly brought into ArcView for crime mapping then used in a live
Street Checks taken from VCAP layered over Hot Spots
These reports help gauge where we are in the Districts engagement and effort on Crime Reduction and have been in
themselves a success story. For example, when we started tracking and mapping Street Checks done in a 3-week period,
it quickly became clear who was participating and who was not. This would be pointed out at COMSTAT as it was up there
on a screen in plain view. From this point on, proactive numbers such as Street Checks and Foot Patrols have been
consistently on the rise, crime is closely monitored. The downward trend YTD for property crime is continuing (-18.73%
YTD for COMSTAT Identified Offences) and engagement is up considerably now that officers are seeing the benefit to
them and the zones they police.
Originally VCAP was viewed as a statistical tool. Now managers who want weekly VCAP updates that are mapped can
have them that same day, and it has been a tremendous analytical tool. We have bigger buy-in now than we used to and
updates from VCAP have been added at the half way mark so that Senior Managers can adjust their operations as
VCAP has made many of my tasks as the Crime Analyst very streamlined with other applications such as mapping
software and Excel and has become a large contributor to my daily work. Constantly evolving and refining reports in VCAP,
I look forward to moving towards the predictive models.
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