I had the opportunity to attend the WIRED Business Conference, Disruptive by Design, on Monday 06/14/10 as a guest of Altegrity Risk International (ARI) Chairman Bill Bratton. He was one of the featured speakers at this conference. WIRED magazine is one of the most respected technological magazines of all time, and is touted as the first truly on-line international publication. Naturally, they are a good fit to oversee a conference focusing on the disruption of current and trending technologies.
Bill Bratton did a live interview during the conference… live in the fact that it was posted and sent out to all of WIRED’s subscriber and partner networks. As one of the nation’s most renowned law enforcement leaders, due to his success in both NYC and LA where he served as police commissioner and chief of police respectively, Bill Bratton was a natural choice for a conference of this kind. The main reason? A great deal of his success was due to crime busting system he pioneered called CompStat. CompStat is an analytical solution that provides real-time intelligence to law enforcement personnel in the field, and in the patrol car, so they can attack hot spots of criminal activity. As Chief Bratton explained how he used “push-pins” and “transparent charts” in CompStat’s early days a hush fell over the tech savvy crowd. Bratton then detailed how in the early 90’s he began to use a top-of-the-line computer for the day, which he purchased from Radio Shack. It was a Commodore 640. This drew applause from the audience and marked Bill as “one of those pioneers of the good old days.”
The method of attacking little crimes in neighborhoods is one of the CompStat systems key components and a big reason for the success of this law enforcement, crime busting ideals. During the interview with Chief Bratton, WIRED contributing editor Noah Shachtman, who also works at the Brookings Institution, kept prodding Bill with questions about the authenticity of the data surrounding CompStat. Shachtman directly asked the Chief how he could be certain the data was not being manipulated. Bratton, hesitated for just a second then replied that they “killed anyone who manipulated the data.” The auditorium erupted in applause and laughter, an outburst from the audience that had not been seen or heard at the conference.
Bill Bratton did an excellent job of demonstrating how “old school” police work with an analytical and accountable system better known as CompStat has effectively reduced crime. One of the best compliments Chief Bratton received was from WIRED Senior Editor Jason Tanz, who sat next to me during Bratton’s interview. Tanz at one point mentioned to me “this guy is great.” Mike Vallez http://www.michaelvallez.com