Compstat and Its Potentials in Policing Essay

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Random Police Patrolling vs. IT Policing Application

The research supported by the National Institute of Justice of the U.S. Department of Justice presented eight major hypotheses on crime prevention by the police (Sherman et al., 1990). The third was random patrolling, which assumed that the more random patrols in public places, the greater the perceived "omnipresence" of police force to discourage crime. Early beat officers checked on specific areas at specific times according to strictly supervised patterns (Reiss, 1992 as qtd in Sherman et al.). The adoption of the Rapid 911 response scheme in automobiles gradually replaced random patrolling. The basis was the perceived unpredictability of patrolling patterns, which would create police omnipresence to discourage crime in public places. Finding of a research came up with weak evidence on the effect of patrolling either in number or variations. It concluded that patrol presence in big cities had no crime prevention effects. The reported weakness was greater according to another study, which added daytime foot patrols. Large incidents of burglary and robbery occurred at night when the foot patrols were not in the areas. However, many police chiefs and mayors still believe that random patrolling would help reduce crime (Sherman et al.).

In comparison, the application of technology to law enforcement has revolutionalized its work in deterring crime in the past few years (Roberts, 2011). The increasing capabilities of computer technology, its continuous diminishing costs, the progressive and extensive growth mobile communications, and the expansion of available and innovative technological applications have greatly enhance the work of law enforcement throughout the country. Police patrols are now equipped with the most technologically sophisticated vehicles, laptop computers or mobile digital computers, in-car cameras, automated license plate readers, multi-band radios, automated vehicle location, emergency lights, sirens and RADAR or LIDAR devices. Police officers now carry or wear technological gadgets, such as a smartphone, video camera or a less deadly weapon. These are in addition to the standard weapons, handcuffs, ammunition, baton and a flashlight (Roberts).

2. COMPSTAT and Its Basic Functions

The four basic steps in information systems are input, process, output and storage (Jacobson, 2014). Input is anything that the user wants to put inside a system for any use. A keyboard, scanner, microphone, mouse and another computer are among the resources for inputs. An input has any purpose only when it is processed and produced into some kind of output. Processing occurs in the inner components of a computer when it converts inputs into something usable. An output is the processed information in some usable form. It takes many forms, such as monitor or printer for visual product or a speaker for audio. It may be usable for short duration, such as printing photographs or for longer periods and must be kept or stored. And storage is the component for saving data. Data are stored for any reason. They may be kept for future reference or to prevent their loss. Data storage is important. Outputs and processed data may be stored in the hard disk, in the USB drive or as a CD (Jacobson).

COMPSTAT or Computer Comparison Statistics is a multifaceted system used to manage police operations (Godown 2014). It helps the organization fulfill its mission and achieve its goals. As a crime control process, it consists of recurring meetings during which performances are critically reviewed in search of improvements and for greater opportunities. It is two-pronged. It reviews crimes outwardly and its effects in the community. And it evaluates the organization internally in identifying the best practices for personnel management. The COMPSTAT process is guided by the four principles, namely, accurate and timely intelligence; effective tactics; rapid deployment; and relentless follow-up and assessment. In implementing accurate and timely intelligence, the police force must know what is happening. In enforcing effective tactics, the force must create a plan. Deployment should always be rapid. And relentless follow-up and assessment mean that is something works, it should be repeated. If it does not, something else should be done in its place that will work (Godown).

3. How Information Systems Enable Faster Crime Response

Technology has done wonders in empowering police officers, especially those in the field (Roberts, 2011). It enables them to inquire or search into…

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