‘Intel-policing’: A mix of old and new strategies

April 25, 2017

When Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies take to the road, they can see all recent traffic incidents, property crimes, assaults, 911 calls and anything else that has generated a report in the area they’re policing.

This is all made possible by CrimeView, a software which takes data from the sheriff’s records and creates an automated map of crime locations and trends. The software was purchased in 2014 with a fully funded grant from Florida Department of Law Enforcement for $55,250. CCSO pays an annual subscription fee of $6,600.

Prior to purchasing CrimeView in 2014, crime analysts spent one full day each week mapping out crime and incident reports. The software does it automatically and updates four times a day, giving analysts more time to actually analyze the data and provide tips for investigators.

“Instead of spending time making maps, we get more information into their hands,” said Crime Analyst Dona Reitenbach. The information is used for briefings at each shift change, and it’s available to all deputies on the laptops in their patrol cars. The software is user-friendly, Reitenbach said, and can be filtered to show different types of incidents, within however large or small an area users want to see.

Intelligence-led policing at the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has increased under Sheriff Bill Prummell, said Reitenbach and Criminal Intelligence Commander Lt. Andreas Rodriguez. CrimeView was purchased under his leadership, and he added multiple crime analysts to the force.

“In the past, it would be normal for the police departments and sheriff’s offices to wait for that one call to go and address the issue,” Rodriguez said.

“Sheriff Bill Prummell sees a value in intel-led policing, and it’s really incorporating all the police models we’ve had in the past.”

Prummell said he adheres to the “broken windows” theory of crime. “The theory is if you have a vacant warehouse and somebody breaks a window, and nobody pays attention to it, then there’s another broken, then another broken,” he said. “Then you have people panhandling, then you have drug dealings. If you ignore the small things, they will turn into something bigger.”

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