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Chicago Police Department's Information Collection for Automated Mapping (ICAM) Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1996
16 pages
Publication Series
Computerized mapping is emerging as an effective tool to help police departments track criminal activities; combined with a technique known as geocoding to verify addresses and link other geographic information, computer mapping software can provide a multidimensional view of crime and its potential contributing factors.
Although many large police departments use computerized mapping technology, the Chicago Police Department has put together one of the most accessible and easy to use programs in the United States. Since its implementation in May 1995, the Information Collection for Automated Mapping (ICAM) program has been praised by city police officials, beat officers, and the public. Because ICAM was created in conjunction with Chicago's community policing program, the maps represent an effective way of working with city residents on crime problems in their neighborhoods. The maps are expected to become a regular feature of neighborhood beat meetings with police officers. ICAM can produce a map of reported offenses in a specific area or it can produce a chart of the 10 most frequently reported offenses in an area. Because ICAM is currently not fully accessible to the public since no program exists to block out confidential information, a modified version of ICAM is being developed that will allow the public to generate maps and lists of crimes in their neighborhoods without divulging confidential data. In addition, because ICAM is currently limited in its ability to aid crime analysis, major revisions are being made under an initiative known as ICAM-2. The enhanced ICAM-2 will be able to map reported offenses within specified distances and track changes in crime over time. In addition, a new 911 emergency network will allow Chicago police officers to access data bases of districts throughout the city. Features of ICAM are described and illustrated, and the use of ICAM by other police departments is discussed. 37 notes, 3 exhibits, 3 figures, and 3 photographs

Date Published: July 1, 1996