August 03, 2009
Case Study: CrimeReports.com: A Cost-Effective Customer Service Tool
“It quickly became apparent that for us to build a solution ourselves—to purchase the hardware, the server, and to spend time daily importing the data from our CAD and RMS systems—it was not cost effective to try and do this internally.”
– Chief Mike Classey
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Police Chief Mike Classey of the Atlantic Beach, Florida Police Department takes a customerservice oriented approach to police work. “Customer and service are two terms you generally didn’t hear in the same sentence or even in the same paragraph,” he says. But Classey realizes that in order to be successful, police departments need to have a customerservice oriented attitude toward the public that they serve. And because the citizens fund his department through their taxes, he feels an obligation to keep the public informed on crime in the community. This obligation led the Atlantic Beach PD to consider creating a public-facing crime map, in order for citizens to access crime information about their own community.
Originally the Atlantic Beach PD thought about using its existing IT staff to create a crime map that could be posted on the department website. However, Classey says that “it quickly became apparent that for us to build a solution ourselves—to purchase the hardware, the server, and to spend time daily importing the data from our CAD and RMS systems—it was not cost effective to try and do this internally.” As well, it would have diverted a significant amount of existing employees’ time that would not have been easily absorbed into their existing duties, and “hiring another person would have been nowhere within the realm of possibility” for budgetary concerns, says Classey.
Once the Atlantic Beach PD saw that an internal solution was not economically feasible, they turned to web-based solutions. They researched all the web-based solutions on the market, but they needed a solution that provided a high quality, user-friendly interface to the public at a low cost. At that point, says Classey, “we felt that CrimeReports.com did everything that we needed it to do. It was very user-friendly, and the cost was a huge consideration.”
Now, not only does CrimeReports keep the citizens of Atlantic Beach informed, but the police department also uses CrimeReports in its roll-call training and CompStat meetings. “The whole goal in this entire project was not only to provide a benefit to our officers but to have something that is available to the public,” says Classey, and it seems to be working. He adds, “CrimeReports is a service that is invaluable to our citizens—to be able to go on there and find out for themselves, and become better informed—which I think not only helps them, but helps the community and certainly helps us.”
Serving more than 500 law enforcement agencies across North America, CrimeReports.com is the largest online resource for accurate, up-to-date crime information. CrimeReports offers a family of affordable, easy-to-use software tools for law enforcement agencies to understand crime trends and share up-to-date neighborhood crime data with the public. Community members can access the information for free at www.CrimeReports.com, empowering them to make informed decisions to help improve the safety of their neighborhood and community.
CrimeReports services are offered by Public Engines, Inc. For more information, visit www.CrimeReports.com.