Technology Assessment on GIS and Crime Mapping

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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 agents with trying to pinpoint a particular suspect or a group of suspects (such as a serial murderer or a gang) and try to apprehend them. Even if there’s an unrelated collection of spatial data, just knowing that a particular area of a community is a “hot spot” (dense area) of criminal activity can help law enforcement agents research to see what factors are contributing to the high levels of crime in the area. Physical factors such as poor street lighting, vacant warehouses, or poorly secured businesses can make an area vulnerable to crime. The ability to determine these “hot spots” of crime can assist law enforcement agents come up with solutions to change these particular areas back to safe communities (Eck). Geographic information science is a visualization tool that allows data to be integrated from diverse sources into one georeferenced database that is composed of data from neighboring locations. Spatial analysis applications for GIS has improved the ability for law enforcement ag... ... middle of paper ... ...on. Special Report “Mapping Crime: Understanding Hot Spots.” August 2005. National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. < http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/209393.pdf> Eylon, Lili. “GIS- A Powerful Weapon in the Fight Against Crime.” GISVision Magazine. 1998. < www.gisvisionmag.com> Garson, G. David. “Geographic Information Systems for Small and Medium Law Enforcement Jurisdictions: Strategies and Effective Practices.” February 2001. http://www.gcc.state.nc.us/gispage/ep1.htm Hakala, David . “Tech Partners Beat a Path To Success Top software vendors unite with integrators” 2004. < http://www.laserfiche.com/newsletter/vb0404.html> Jackson, William. “Bay Area transit police map a better view of their beat.” February 16, 2005. Government Computer News.

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