L2: Oral Presentation C Thursday, 4:00 4:30 pm C French River Room

Using GIS for Comstat: The Reality of CBS' The District

Nicole DeMotto
Kansas City Police Department
701 North 7th Street
Kansas City, KS  66101

CBS' The District has popularized crime map analysis and the Comstat process. The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department recently implemented a Crime Analysis Unit to assist patrol division commanders tackle the crime problem. The Crime Analysis Unit creates pin maps, density maps and hot spot maps on a weekly basis for the entire city. Since each division has a unique crime problem, crime is also mapped by division. An in depth analysis is conducted, when ArcView brings a pattern to life. The maps are distributed to the appropriate commanders, who disseminate the information to patrol officers, detectives and special units. 

Commanders are given mapped data each week to develop a strategy for the week. More maps are generated, if the commander has a question about a given crime problem. During the Comstat meeting, questions are fired at the commanders from all directions. The commanders use the crime analysis maps to justify their strategy and to develop new strategies.

The Comstat process is a lot more complicated than it is presented on TV. This discussion will highlight the struggles and successes of the newly created unit. Struggles include difficulty geocoding crime incidents, improving the accuracy of mapped data and teaching commanders to use technology. Although spatial analysis of crime is relatively new to KCKPD, we have already experienced success. We have identified distinct spatial patterns, which will allow resources to be deployed more effectively.