Technology Assessment on GIS and Crime Mapping Essay

1783 Words 8 Pages
Technology Assessment on GIS and Crime Mapping


Introduction

The role of law enforcement agencies is to “serve and protect” society. The advancement in technology has improved their role by providing many opportunities for law enforcement agencies to collect and analyze data at crime scenes and in the crime labs more efficiently and more accurately. Another way technology has entered the law enforcement field is in the form of crime mapping through the use of geographic information science. Utilizing crime mapping allows law enforcement agencies to collect spatial data and display the data on maps to analyze trends in criminal activity in particular areas of a community. A collection of related spatial data can assist law enforcement
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Spatial analysis applications for GIS are designed to focus on criminal “hot spot” activity so that law enforcement policy makers can come up with solutions for reducing the crime in those areas (Eck).





Needs Assessment

The head of the Richardson Police Department has instructed subordinates to research and ultimately recommend one particular crime mapping GIS program and GIS application software which will assist with the crime prevention initiative. The software should allow the crime prevention unit to quickly map criminal activity patterns or “hot spots” and come up with solutions for these problems. The software should be easy to use and train people with. The data should be easy to share with other law enforcement agencies. The software should be compatible with existing crime data. The technical support should be easy to access. Also, the software should be affordable.

GIS Software
The search for the ideal software for the given user needs includes two parts. The first is the recommendation for GIS software, and the second is for a crime mapping application that could be used with the recommended GIS software.

In a 1997-1998 survey of law enforcement agencies concerning the preferred GIS software for their respective law enforcement agencies, the top two choices included MapInfo Professional and ESRI Arcview (Eylon). Several other crime mapping articles referred to these two software programs as being the top two most…