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Combining Police and Probation Information Resources to Reduce Burglary: Testing a Crime Analysis Problem-Solving Approach

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2004
103 pages
This report describes the development of a police and probation department shared database for use as a crime analysis tool.
Law enforcement agencies are no longer expected to simply react to crimes, but are now expected to adopt proactive crime prevention measures to reduce and prevent crimes. These problem-driven approaches have emphasized the use of criminal justice data to guide policing activities. Probation databases provide a rich source of information useful to police, although surprisingly few police and probation departments currently share data. The current report describes the partnership between the Phoenix Police Department (PPD) and the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (APD) to develop a shared database to use as a crime analysis tool within a formal problem-solving strategy to reduce burglary in certain areas of Phoenix, AZ. The partnership worked toward three goals: (1) the development of the shared database and the integration of selected data from the two departments; (2) the collaboration of the departments in a formal strategy to reduce burglary; and (3) the evaluation of the database as an analysis tool and its impact on burglary. The evaluation involved a quasi-experimental research design in which stakeholders were interviewed and police patrol officers, probation officers, and supervisors were surveyed to determine whether the shared database realized greater reductions in burglaries than would have been achieved with a single agency effort. Unfortunately, delays in the project prevented the completion of the project’s demonstration phase. As such, while the outcomes were not able to be analyzed, the report can offer lessons learned about the process of developing an interagency data management system. Key lessons learned included the importance of a project’s timeline, the importance of understanding the technological requirements of the project, and the importance of establishing clear expectations concerning the collaborative relationship. Exhibits, references, appendixes

Date Published: April 1, 2004