Police Department

Posted on: October 25, 2017

New tool uses 911 data to help police make better operational decisions

When citizens place a call for service (CFS) through 911, police, firefighters, or paramedics respond. In urban settings across the US, demand for these services are high and resources are limited. Operating efficiently is critical but often challenging to proactively manage and plan.

RTI International collaborated with law enforcement leaders to develop CFS Analytics™, the first data product in RTI’s Public Safety Analytics platform. The tool, introduced today at the IACP conference, is designed to enable data-driven decision making by public safety leaders. Currently, CFS Analytics™ is in use at eight police agencies across the US ranging in size from 25 to 12,000 officers.

“While 911 calls drive the operations of most agencies, very few analyze their data for business intelligence regarding their operations and strategic decision-making,” said Brian Acken, senior law enforcement analyst at RTI and product manager for CFS Analytics. “CFS Analytics processes, analyzes, and visualizes 911 data so that agencies can generate insights to improve operations.” 

The civil service industry can benefit from insight into scenarios that affect services like time-of- day, day- of- week, season, as well as availability of human and capital resources such as equipment and vehicles. Analyzing the vast amount of data that resides in first responder databases, CFS Analytics helps police, fire and EMS organizations adjust resources proactively to match anticipated demand, thus ensuring greater response and improved service for citizens.

With user-friendly dashboards and visualizations, the tool shows dynamic analyses of call volume, incident data, officer resource allocation, call outcomes, response time, and multi-department and multi-agency views. The application is intuitive and designed to be used by command staff and supervisors.

Durham (NC) Police Department was the first agency to use CFS Analytics and to collaborate with RTI to develop the application further.

“Upon installing CFS Analytics, we quickly noticed a gap in allocated resources and created an additional ‘swing shift’ to correct the issue,” said Cerelyn J. Davis, Durham Chief of Police. “The tool has allowed us to quickly analyze operations and allocate resources most appropriately. As a result, the Durham PD and larger community have benefited from the application.”

According to Kevin Strom, PhD, director of RTI’s policing research program, “In a time of increased police scrutiny and accountability, CFS Analytics provides agencies with information they can use to track performance for the public and elected officials who have responsibility for public safety. RTI is excited to provide an application that can aid police with their operational asset deployment, transparency initiatives, strategic planning, and community engagements.”

In addition to Durham, CFS Analytics is installed at seven other agencies including Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department and Chicago Police Department.

Availability and Pricing

To learn more about the tool, visit cfsanalytics.rti.org.

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