CrimeReports' eponymous flagship product allows a law enforcement agency to show the public where and when crimes are being committed in their jurisdiction via online maps. The company's Command Central takes this idea one step further by putting these statistics in the hands of the agency itself.
"Our clients said, 'This is great that you have all this information available to the general public, but we would really like to get statistics with this simplicity for our own internal use,'" says CrimeReports CEO Greg Whisenant. "That was where we came up with Command Central."
It doesn't take the place of a crime analyst. In fact, Whisenant emphasizes that this is not a crime analysis tool. What Command Central does do is provide officers with information that they can use in their everyday jobs, even accessing charts and graphs from in-car computers.
"It puts numbers and data at the fingertips of officers, where normally a crime analyst would have to do that," Whisenant explains. "What we do is use their existing CAD [or RMS] database and get access to that data and are able to display it in a browser in a way that's intuitive," says Whisenant.
With Command Central, you can compare crime by area and type and track trends over time in chart and graph form. You can also view crime activity on a map that can delineate different beats. With side-by-side maps, you can compare crimes by area, date, and type. A "heat map" even shows crime hotspots by displaying data from the last 90 days, with different crimes coded with different colors for easy tracking of trends. If you zoom in, you can access more detailed statistics, and even see the report filed for a particular incident.
Despite the variety of functions provided, Whisenant says the learning curve is minimal. "We don't sell or offer training, because it's not needed. Everything is simple to learn and simple to use."
Versatility and ease of use make the Command Central tools work for individual agencies and even individual officers with different concerns. But what really sells many departments on the suite of services is the price.
Subscriptions can be paid monthly or annually. Either way, it's only a few hundred dollars per month for the entire system. This flat fee includes as many users as the agency wants, with no service fees or hardware or software licenses to purchase. And every agency can try the system out for free for one month.
"Our clients range from big city agencies to tiny rural departments with four or five officers," Whisenant says. "We make it very affordable for an agency of any size to have the same tools that the big agencies use."
Whisenant believes in Command Central and its ability to help every law enforcement agency. It is currently in use by more than 100 agencies.
"The main promise we give is that anybody in an agency, from the chief on down, can get access to this and be able to see it quickly. They can get access to whatever level of data they want and view the reporting in a very simple and inexpensive way."