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Building Safer Communities in the Digital Age

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Patrick Fiorenza

Analytics has transformed the way public safety organizations fight crime and keep our communities safe. Today, GovLoop and IBM have released a new report, Smarter Cities: Public Safety in the Digital Age, which explores how new analytical approaches has re-imagined the way the public sector protects communities.

As governments are faced with shrinking budgets and resources, public safety officials are tasked to deliver mission value in new ways. “Agencies simply cannot afford to put more officers on the street. They need to make improved decisions and allocate resources more effectively. Leveraging crime analytics is part of the solution in a time of tight budgets and resources,” states Mike Reade, Public Safety Specialist, IBM® Smarter Cities Team.
Combating recidivism by understanding and focusing on serious and prolific offendersThe GovLoop and IBM report explores the variety of crime analytics applications agencies are adopting. The various applications reflects how agencies are looking to align analytics to core mission functions. Existing use cases for crime analytics includes:

  • Predicting and preventing crime before it happens
  • Enhancing situalional awareness for officers through social media analytics or video analytics to detect suspicious activity as events unfold
  • Providing real-time insights through GIS technology and geo-tagged crime data to deliver knowledge on surrounding locations and identify potential escape routes
  • Optimizing resource deployment and measuring outcomes of decisions and crime-fighting initiatives

The report includes interviews with IBM thought leaders, Mike Reade, Public Safety Specialist, IBM® Smarter Cities Team, David Edwards, Global Public Safety Offering Manager, IBM Smarter Cities and Jim Lingerfelt, Senior Consultant, IBM. 

In the report Lingerfelt identifies the link between public safety and the economic viability of communities, “We are doing some deeper thinking about a community and the way it is affected by crime. Crime is inextricably linked to economic development, so that fact alone demands a broader approach that includes social services agencies, schools, community groups and even getting involved in permitting and zoning,” states Lingerfelt.

For public sector organizations to truly transform into modern institutions, agencies will be forced to adopt analytics as a core business function. Now, like never before, agencies must explore new and innovative ways to protect citizens. In order to do so, utilizing analytics is the way forward for agencies to combat crime with diminishing budgets and resources.

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The IBM Analytics Solution Center (ASC) is part of a network of global analytics centers that provides clients with the analytics expertise to help them solve their toughest business problems. Check out their Analytics to Outcomes group on GovLoop.Advertisement