Part IX: The Essence of NC4 Street Smart®: Synergy
By John Bennett
Assistant Chief (retired), Tampa PD
Principal Consultant, NC4 Public Safety
Many current and former law enforcement executives remember being faced with severe budget cuts and restraints during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Many other local government services were heavily impacted, as well.
Fast forward a decade later to 2019, post-recession, where law enforcement agencies nationwide are reporting a shortage of law enforcement recruits. This shortage is not necessarily tied to the budgetary impacts of the Great Recession, but instead correlated to a well-publicized shift in both real and perceived personal risk with a career in law enforcement service. Recently, we’ve seen relationships among police and communities all over the country face complicated challenges. Throughout the past 50 years of policing, there has always been a trying incident or set of unfortunate outcomes that has placed temporary or sustaining stress on the industry. How that differs in a lack of recruiting in this era is most likely a more complex diagnosis; however, the end result – whether budget deficit or social justice – is fewer police. Fewer police mean fewer resources.
Synergy is best defined as two or more things working together to create something bigger than the individual inputs and outputs. NC4 Street Smart® creates synergy. By providing a revolutionary enabling platform that offers the speed of information-sharing and sense-making for decision support in real-time across agencies and regions, more positive outcomes are made possible through communication, coordination, and collaboration.
A recent case study for this lies in Flint, Michigan. Over the last decade, synonymous with the Great Recession, their police force lost well over 50 percent of their sworn strength. Today, the force is approximately 40 percent under the statewide average ratio of officer-to-citizen. After acquiring NC4 Street Smart, Flint was able to reduce property crimes by over 20 percent, versus the statewide average reduction of under 3 percent. There were other reductions that all outperformed the statewide and countywide averages for 2017 against 2016. NC4 has seen this occur in customer jurisdictions across the board, and while we do not credit anyone but the hard-working and dedicated men and women of the agency for their respective outcomes, there is a common dataset showing promising results well beyond averages by using a real-time, agency-wide intelligence-led policing (ILP) software with an embedded, proprietary process.
Agency leaders often ask about using evidence-based solutions. The fact that Street Smart has no cumbersome add-ons, is based on pure ILP, and offers a results-based history by working collaboratively with the growing partner agencies fortifies the synergistic effect. The software offers a force multiplication property that can help manage population growth, and lower recruiting challenges and other attrition-based challenges. With effective knowledge management and rapid sense-making of crimes, offenders, and quality of life problems, police agencies can overcome any setback.
In 2002, the Tampa Police Department set out to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for its communities. By 2008, TPD realized a -52% drop in UCR Part One Crimes, but hit a plateau after 67- months of consecutive reductions. The author of this blog series, John Bennett [retired Assistant Chief from T.P.D.] and a small, caring team of crime-fighting innovators discovered a process to not only break through the 2008 plateau, but to take the agency down an additional -51% in Part One Crimes. In 2012, this was embedded into NC4 Street Smart as a way to pave the journey forward to fellow agencies who either wish to reduce crime further or sustain their current reductions while keeping their troops safe and gaining community trust.
Thanks for contacting NC4! A member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.