In the book titled Crime Analysis with Crime Mapping penned by Rachel Boba Santos, three different types of data analysis are outlined: the computer-aided dispatch system (CAD), the records management system (RMS) and the geographic data system (GDS). Of the three, I have found that the first, the computer-aided dispatch system, or CAD as it is more commonly known, is the most efficient because it relies on a highly operational combination of human and technological forces. Rather than rely uniquely on human forces, such as police officers, which are inevitably prone to error and misjudgement, the CAD is particularly adept because it also relies on machines, which keep detailed track and accounts of real-life information. As such, users may never fear that CAD technology has been tampered with or misused, providing false information. As such, I will argue in this essay that the computer-aided dispatch system is the most effective use of the three mentioned in Santo’s book because it is a clever use of both technological, hence infallible, forces, as well as of human, hence trust-worthy, ones.
In their book titled Eliminating Crime: The 7 Essential principles of Police-Based Crime Reduction, Dr. Cohen et. al outline the importance of embracing technological innovations such as CAD into the police stations. “With the growing body of research demonstrating their value to police, an increasing number of police organizations have accepted these new technologies to not only organize their information more efficiently, but to use the information to predict and prevent future criminal events, clear existing criminal files, and design more effective… strategies based on the information provided by their crime analysts” (24). They cite the region of Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada as a potent example of how difficult it can be for police officers to effectively target and capture criminals when crime is rampant and crime analysts are too often pushed to one side. Throughout the years, police officers have sadly been known for their lack of respect and discipline. The city of San Diego, for example, has been in the news for months when police officers were caught in flagrant misconduct and when city residents began doubting the very ability of police officers to maintain security and peace. In Vancouver, especially when the Olympics were held in the city back in 2010, police crews were particularly stressed out, running thin on man-power having to deal with various problems that ran from dealing with protesters to managing street decorum.
In situations such as these, it becomes increasingly apparent that some kind of intelligence-based system is needed. As has been too often the case, relying too much on manpower can lead to serious misdemeanours and misconduct among police ranks. Corruption, whether we like it or not, seems to creep into and infiltrate any organization, whether it is police-affiliated or not. As such, I believe that every police force needs to rely on machines, computers, in order to fight crime. By keeping meticulous track of crime offenders in files in computers, police officers will be able to notify red flags and send police officers to interrogate the suspect in question before any crime is committed. By dispatching officers to a crime scene based on detailed information provided for by the internet, officers will be able to delegate power from above in a time-efficient, productive way. Finally, by relying on technology alone officers will not be able to tamper with, alter, delete or add information that is kept safely hidden on computers. In an age that is increasingly adept at technology, society members need to recognize and come to value the paramount importance that computers can bring. Without human error, whether intentional or not, the world will become a safer place, which is why I value the importance of CAD among the three data collection systems.
- Cohen, Ian et al. (2014). Eliminating Crime: The 7 Essential Principals of Police-based Crime Reduction. Len Garis: University of Fraser Valley.
- Santos, Rachel Santos, Ph.D., R. B. (2013). Crime Analysis with Crime Mapping (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.