By Rob Starr, Big4.com, Content Manager
Accenture has built and deployed a data analytics platform for the Seattle Police Department. As well as improving day-to-day reporting capabilities, the system will analyze critical data relating to police calls, use-of-force incidents, public interactions , workforce management and other administrative and operational functions. Jody Weis, Director of Accenture Police Services in North America, and a retired Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, answered some questions via email.
What will the data analytics platform for the Seattle Police Department do?
The data analytics platform we delivered at Seattle Police Department will enable the force to better consolidate, manage and analyze data relating to police operations and investigations, citizen interactions, force administrative processes, officer training and workforce management. This technology has improved SPD ability to track use of force and officer performance across multiple measures. These analytics not only promote accountability, but also enhance police operations by supporting proper management of personnel.
Among the new capabilities is a system of alerts that enables the SPD to make data-driven decisions based on analytics insights and informs leadership of incidents and cases of complaints that are outside established parameters and might require further inquiry — thereby enabling the Department to improve leadership monitoring and oversight of policing activities and administrative processes and to meet required governance objectives.
One of the most useful aspects of the DAP is the visualization of data from 17 datasets onto a dashboard. Department leadership can see a myriad of data involving not only use of force, but officer activity, training, complaints, experience, and other useful data. So more can be known about an officer than simply tracking incidents where force was used. For example, an officer might have an unusually high number of use or force incidents, but by seeing the aggravation of data on a single dashboard, the user can see how that compares with his activity, which might be far higher than his peers. Or the fact that an officer is crisis intervention trained and therefore handles all of the incidents involving individuals suffering from mental health issues
might be a contributing factor to his use of force numbers.
What’s the background behind it?
The SPD’s ability to review and report data was an area of need identified in a 2011 Department of Justice investigation of the SPD. The Seattle Police Monitoring Team supported the deployment of the system in a subsequent report, believing it “…pivotal to SPD’s ability to hold itself accountable for constitutional policing.” The project involved the integration and analysis of six disparate databases and information sources used by the Department to ensure that high-quality data and consistent information are delivered to police leadership in real-time.
Several police departments across America currently operate under a consent decree involving department members engaging in excessive force. Technology like DAP can allow a department to proactively address use of force incidents with a far deeper understanding of contributing factors, For example, it might be that officers are lacking de-escalation training, or perhaps a particular sergeant isn’t engaged with the officers, allowing them to go astray.
Why was this type of IT based program selected?
This analytics solution not only promotes accountability, but also enhances police operations by supporting proper management of personnel—helping SPD officers deliver high-quality policing to the communities they serve. SPD’s vision to embrace analytics combined with Accenture technology expertise, police industry experience and strong has proven to be a very successful collaboration. This solution is very flexible and the visualization allows data to be shown in a variety of ways to fit department needs. Easy to modify and simple to maintain.
What’s the relationship between Accenture and the Seattle Police department?
Accenture commenced working with Seattle Police Department in late 2016. This was our first time working with the SPD.
What’s in the future?
This digital platform has established a foundational analytics capability that can be further evolved as SPD continues its leadership in new digital technologies. The DAP has integrated a myriad of data sets that will allow the SPD to expand its analytics into operational policing, developing predictive analytics to fight crime. We continue to support the client to adopt new digital technologies to enhance policing efforts in Seattle.