ArcUser Online

Search ArcUser


E-mail to a Friend

Departmentwide Access to Crime Analysis
By Curtis Cherne, Albuquerque Police Department

The Albuquerque Police Department's Crime Analysis Unit provides mapping and crime analysis capabilities to 885 sworn officers and 300 civilian staff. Using ArcIMS and a custom Active Server Pages (ASP) reporting application that has been seamlessly integrated with ArcIMS, this information--available 24 hours a day, seven days a week--is delivered by a Windows NT 4.0 server over the City's local area network (LAN).

click to see enlargement
Using ArcIMS and a custom Active Server Pages (ASP) reporting application, the Albuquerque Police Department's Crime Analysis Unit provides mapping and crime analysis capabilities to 885 sworn officers and 300 civilian staff.

This system was developed for the department by Esri and implemented in November 2000. The customized ArcIMS interface displays 15 data layers. Offense information is used for pattern/trend detection and analysis, for directed patrol, and as an information source for neighborhood watch organizations. The data in the reporting portion is automatically updated every day at 0100 hours. The crime shapefiles are manually updated once a week using a procedure created by police staff.

The Shape of Crime

The crime shapefile data includes aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, sexual offenses, motor vehicle theft, vandalism, narcotics, and auto burglary. When an incident is selected, ArcIMS displays data specific to that case. Crime shapefiles contain 28 days worth of data--an amount chosen because it provides enough data to show crime patterns but, by limiting the amount of data, allows the user to see and select individual offenses. Limiting the amount of data also keeps the size of the shapefile manageable so it loads quickly. This data is pulled from the department's records management system.

Information on crime occurrences is complemented by suspect shapefiles that contain information on known sex offenders and burglars. The attribute data supplies a physical description of the suspect, vehicle information, and the name and phone number of the probation and parole officer assigned to each suspect. Contact information for the probation and parole officer is significant because it provides access to information about the suspect's schedule. An officer or investigator can enter the premises to talk to the suspect when accompanied by the probation and parole officer. Suspect data, maintained in the New Mexico Corrections Department database, is exported to a spreadsheet and e-mailed to the department.

The City of Albuquerque's GIS group supplied static, noncrime shapefiles such as the City council districts, street network, parks, and neighborhood associations. Police-related datasets, such as gang territories, beats, and area commands, were created by the department. Added to aid in the analysis of gang-related offenses, the gang shapefile contains membership numbers, graffiti, rivals, and allies. The data behind the gang territories shapefiles was developed by detectives; the City GIS group constructed the shapefile; and police personnel enter data into it. Other jurisdictional shapefiles (i.e., area command and beat) allow for reporting of crime information by area.

Analyzing and Reporting

The reporting application developed for use with ArcIMS provides summarized offense data as well as the ability to examine trends in offense data by hour of day or day of week for different datasets. Analysis can be run on all offenses or can be limited to Part I offenses, Part II offenses, or individual types of offenses.

The system replaces a simpler ArcView pin and density mapping application. Because it is Web based, the ArcIMS application is more accessible to law enforcement personnel. The response to the new application has been good--officers, sergeants, and police command staff all use the system. Department staff have received training on the system, a user manual is available, and user support is ongoing.

For more information, please contact
Curtis Cherne, Crime Analyst
Albuquerque Police Department
Tel.: 505-768-2174

Contact Us | Privacy | Legal | Site Map