This article describes how the Overland Park Police Department (Kansas) achieved the transition from a dispatch model to an incident-command model using hot-spot-based technology.
The department began with a comprehensive CompStat-like program called ABSTRAT (Accountability Based Strategic Deployment), using the expertise of the Crime Analysis Unit in developing tactical-level information and analysis for operations and watch commanders, sergeants, and patrol officers. This information is delivered to these personnel less than 24 hours after a crime occurs. Next, the department replaced the traditional district model with three sectors, each with a sergeant and corresponding staff. Based on the crime-analysis information they receive, the sergeants, operations commanders, and watch commanders make resource assignments to the sector where the crime is occurring. Operations commanders were then moved from their offices in administration to the dispatch center, from which they could direct all department operations in real time. For the future, the Overland Park Police Department plans to create a desktop application that would allow a patrol sergeant to view the hot spots identified by the Crime Analysis Unit, using the application’s “drag-and-drop” function to deploy patrol units to these areas. These deployments could change from place to place and hour to hour based on the volume of criminal activity. Thus, a patrol officer could be assigned to any number of deployments throughout his/her shift. In addition, the crime analysis unit will be able to retrieve information on a given deployment, using data from the computer-aided dispatch and record management systems, along with the geographic positioning system. After analyzing these data, the crime analysis unit will adjust or redefine hot-spot areas as needed in order to better target criminal activity. 1 figure and 1 note