Understanding the Analytical Demands of the 21st Century Sheriff’s Office

Daniel Cohen's picture
 By | april 05, 2016
in Government Federal, Government S/L, Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, law enforcement, police department, public safely, sheriff's office, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence
april 05, 2016

Photo attributed to Jvergakis.

In the public sector, government organizations at every level depend on the insight provided by sophisticated BI and analytics tools. Public safety and law enforcement are no exception. Not everyone can identify the difference between public safety and law enforcement – or that there is a difference between a sheriff’s department and a police department. However, while they do share some tasks and goals, distinct differences exist.

Defining Departments

For one, these departments cover different territories. A sheriff's office provides law enforcement services and/or court and jail services for a county (or other civil subdivision, like a parish in LA) of a state. A police department serves a specific municipality, city, town or village. Another difference is sheriffs are elected public officials. A police officer is a line employee. In most states, the sheriff’s department runs the jail and provides services to courts (like security, serving papers, transporting prisoners, enforcing court orders, etc.). While patrols and investigations are not required, many counties authorize and fund sheriffs to provide these services as well. Police are in the business of public safety – patrolling streets, issuing summons, arresting offenders and keeping cities safe. Hence the term “public safety.” Sheriff’s departments enforce courts orders, hence the term “law enforcement.”

Understanding Challenges

Aside from slightly overlapping missions, these two departments also share many of the same technology challenges. They both have lots of data silos containing disparate sources of both hard and soft data that may be home grown systems, spread-marts, SQL and Access sources, as well as CJIS, RMS, CAD, JMS, payroll, transit and many other kinds of packaged systems. Secondly, they both have many different types of users ranging from patrol officers, to crime analysts, to division or precinct commanders, all the way to the top brass – the police chiefs and sheriffs themselves, who use data in different ways and need different ways to interface with it. Thirdly, all these different kinds of users require different kinds of BI features and functionality for their day-to-day jobs. And lastly, they all need timely and trusted information to make data-driven decision to better do their jobs.

On April 7th, The Public Technology Institute (PTI) will present a webinar titled, “Meeting the Analytical Demands of the 21st Century Sheriff’s Office.” We’ll hear from Captain Brian Barkow of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MSCO) about how the organization successfully implemented a phased deployment of Information Builders’ tools to automate CompStat reporting, implement dashboards and scorecards, track incidents of use of force and complaints, implement real-time crime reporting and implement other advanced analytics. The results are improved operational decision making, productivity, efficiency, agility and situational awareness with measurable cost savings.

For more details on the webinar and to register to attend, visit the PTI event calendar. We hope you’ll be able to join us to learn how Information Builders is helping the MCSO improve processes and safety.