Part VII: The Essence of NC4 Street Smart®: Sense-Making
NC4 has introduced a blog series titled “The Essence of NC4 Street Smart: A 12-part Blog Series”, to share with our readers what the ‘essence’ of our law enforcement solution, Street Smart really is. This post is the seventh blog in this series.
By John Bennett
Assistant Chief (retired), Tampa PD
Principal Consultant, NC4 Public Safety
While CompStat [Comparative Statistics] was evolving quickly in the early 1990s, which brought a data-driven level of accountability to the policing model, the private business sector was energizing the newer discipline of Knowledge Management. In either industry, having the right information, at the right time, in the hands of the right people, supports making the right and relevant decisions in a timely manner.
NC4 Street Smart® uses an approach of Sense-Making, where evidence-based, intelligence-led policing (ILP) is layered in an easy-to-use manner that aids the frontline end user in making expedient decisions to help solve a crime quickly. An example is layering known burglar offenders based on where they reside and where they have previously offended, in addition to other data - such as active warrants and jail status to help determine a person of interest quickly. Street Smart has the design capability to add necessary data feeds to each agency’s system that follows those evolving, strategic demands.
By having the fingertip data as a foundation to the Sense-Making process to solve crimes quickly, the agency is supporting the sustainment or further crime reduction which lowers risks to the officers/deputies and potentially the next victim. Sense-Making also allows the frontline resources to solve crimes that were otherwise handled as merely a police report – often called “who-done-it cases.” These cases typically do not meet the agency’s case referral guidelines to advance the crime to a detective. This added capability can help an officer/deputy (especially after-hours) identify a person of interest in a myriad of serious crimes while the need is determined to contact a latent investigator for support.
Street Smart is not a “pay, plug-in and play, and walk away” technology that aggregates data in a less-than-actionable way. Street Smart grows with the agency’s needs. The implementation and high-touch support team works continuously with the department champions to ensure the solution is meeting those relevant demands. The benefit of working with NC4 staff is that all clients share the best practices that can be adopted into each customer’s installation, thereby using the Knowledge Management sharing process across the various policing communities.
In an academic and information management realm, Sense-Making methodologies by Dr. Brenda Dervin in the 1980s, look to improve the interaction between people and technology. At NC4, we simplify this definition as an actionable process by relating Sense-Making to surrounding an unknown problem (who-done-it crime) with potential answers (known offenders) developed by intelligence-led policing data from within the agency and region to support decision making and problem solving.
Managing knowledge is far more complicated than collecting and sharing information. At NC4, we take the benefit of making that knowledge secure and accessible, in true real time, to meet the challenging demands of situational awareness and solving a crime quickly to prevent new crimes in a cost-effective manner. Schedule a meeting to see a demonstration on how Sense-Making and many other results-based processes inside Street Smart are working for now over 50 agencies nationwide.
For more information on the platforms available to your organization, contact NC4 at 877-624.4999, or feel free to email us anytime at info@NC4.com.
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.
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