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About the Journal
Crime Data Warehouse Report Writing Goes Live!
By Susan Giffin
Chief Information Officer
Officer Ana Lee of Ingleside Station enters first incident into new Crime Data Warehouse – January 17, 2012. It was a “Found Property” report.
Beginning with Ingleside station in January, we have embarked on a major change in SFPD. We are moving to a web-based system for Incident reports. The Crime Data Warehouse Incident Report Writing system allows us to store and retrieve all crime reports online. Instead of passing reports around on paper, all SFPD will have access to them on their computer, immediately after the report is electronically signed by the officer in charge. This represents a major step forward in terms of the timeliness and searchability of crime information. No longer will we need to rely on phone calls and manual logs to access crime report information. It will all be available at the click of a mouse. The system has been rolled out to Ingleside, Northern, Taravel, and Tenderloin. Next up are Mission, Bayview, Park and Richmond, Southern, Central, Bureau, and finally Tactical and MTA. We hope to be complete with all training by end of June.
This new system opens up almost endless possibilities about how we can use and connect data. Already being used today in some of our most major and visible cases, the Crime Data Warehouse allows us to retrieve data that was previously unavailable or extremely difficult to access. From a minor query about how many cell phones are being taken to a major investigation about patterns in the Mission District rape case, all are available in a quick search of the Crime Data Warehouse. If it was ever entered on any crime report or field interview (since July, 2008), then we can retrieve it online in seconds.
Our next phases of this project will include geo-coding addresses to ensure complete accuracy of crime locations, mapping of crime incidents, introduction of CopLogic community reporting, and the addition of other crime data sources to the system. We are also planning a pilot of mobile devices to be able to create reports in the field (among other capabilities). We welcome your ideas about what the most important items are to include in next phases.
Below is a set of frequently asked questions about the system. Please feel free to contact me or any member of the Technology Division with any additional questions or input on this or other technology projects for SFPD.
Following are some commonly asked questions and answers about the Crime Data Warehouse.
- The report is printing out with a DRAFT mark and I cannot get it to print normally.
We have moved to a completely electronic signature process. Hand written signatures should not be added to any reports. The way a report is considered approved and official is when the officer in charge electronically “signs” the report. When that occurs, there will be a name in the OIC section (printed). At that point, you can print the report without the DRAFT watermark.
- How can I give feedback about the new system?
Built into the new system is a feature called “Feedback”. While you are using the system, you will see a link. Click to provide any feedback you wish. Our technical team receives the feedback and tracks all requests. In some cases, we go to our Crime Data Warehouse advisory committee (SFPD members at all levels represented) to vote on how to prioritize requested improvements.
- Will I still have to print reports and send them to the Hall of Justice?
Yes. Initially we are not changing the process at all. This is because it was too much of a change to move to an all-online system. We will be working with all the entities (DA, Courts, etc.) who receive crime reports today and determining how to move them to the new system. All that work needs to be done before we can officially stop the manual report printing and scanning process.