City of Philadelphia Police Department and ArcGIS with Grant Ervin and Detective Justin Frank

Grant Ervin and Detective Justin Frank of the City of Philadelphia Police Department show how they use ArcGIS for Server and web GIS to empower officers and detectives.

Jun 28th, 2014

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00:01Earlier this year, I had the honor of visiting the city of Philadelphia Police Department where they're using...

00:06...ArcGIS Server and web GIS to empower more than 6,000 officers and detectives, and it's making a difference.

00:14To tell us a little bit more about their work, please welcome from the city of Philadelphia...

00:18...and the mayor's office, Grant Ervin.

00:28Good morning.

00:29I'm Grant Ervin, public safety GIS program manager with the city of Philadelphia.

00:34Law enforcement agencies face challenges on a daily basis.

00:37We're comprised of large work forces, bound by tradition, and dependent on intensive human capital.

00:44The need for technology usually becomes a "maybe next year" consideration, so we've learned to take short-term... approaches in order to meet our objectives.

00:53However, there comes a point in time we can no longer meet those objectives, and a decision is made that allows us... perform a huge leap forward in terms of technology.

01:03A prime example of that is the Philadelphia Police Department's Crime Mapping and Analysis application.

01:11By integrating over a dozen different law enforcement systems and moving GIS from the desktop to the server...

01:17...we've been able to transform the way the GIS group works and thinks which, in turn, has transformed the way...

01:24...the Philadelphia Police Department works and thinks by enabling everyone to be a GIS user.

01:31So I'd like to show you some of the data we've been able to integrate into the application.

01:39For the first time ever, the entire department has immediate access to real and reliable instant data...

01:46...coming from a number of different systems.

01:51A district commander can now see the activities of his field staff, but he can also see the activities of other groups...

01:58...such as the highway group or a tactical group, or a burglary detail group working in the same area.

02:05He can also relay other information such as active warrants or prison releases.

02:14Now, attempting a paradigm shift at a department with over 6,000 officers took us a little over three years.

02:21And, to be honest with you, at times it actually felt impossible.

02:25But we've managed to change a number of the workflows within the department, and provide tools that...

02:29...have led to more effective and efficient policing.

02:33One of those tools is the Date Range tool.

02:37This tool allows the users to enter a custom set of parameters and have that information returned on the map.

02:43In this example, I'll display three months of narcotics crimes in this specific area of the map.

02:51When the results return on the map, the user actually has the ability now to look at the data in a tabular view...

02:59...a summary account view, which breaks down the information as far where things happen... far as days of the week, or hours of the day, or specific tours, or specific crimes.

03:07But we also provide them the ability to do on-the-fly, hot-spot analysis.

03:13Now, I could sit here and talk about this all day, but I actually thought it would be better if I brought a real detective here... show you how he uses the application.

03:20So many days, nights, weekends, and even holidays, you can find detective Justin Frank logged into the system... order to solve crimes.

03:28Please welcome detective Justin Frank.

03:37Hey, yo.

03:39Good morning.

03:40My name's detective Justin Frank from the Philadelphia Police Department, and I'm here to talk about how...

03:45...GIS has become a real game changer for the Philadelphia police.

03:52Meet William Hagans, or who we like to call the Grinch that stole Christmas.

03:57Now, right before Christmas, the St. Gabriel's Convent was broken into two nights in a row...

04:03...while the nuns were sleeping.

04:05All the kids Christmas toy and field trip money was stolen.

04:08So I pulled up the map, and I see this guy Hagans gets stopped about an hour after one of the burglaries... a very close proximity.

04:16I gave the order to bring him in.

04:18During interrogation, we learned that Hagans was using another address across town.

04:23The map revealed a similar burglary pattern at that location.

04:28I confronted Hagans with the evidence.

04:30Subsequently, he confessed.

04:33He also told me what he did with the Christmas toy money.

04:36He got a new iPhone and new tattoo.

04:39No drug habit, no sob story, what a special guy.

04:45Thanks to GIS, case closed.

04:52[applause] Thank you.

04:55Robert Reed.

04:57This guy alluded us for years.

04:59At 18 years old, he was already a veteran criminal.

05:02Now this case exemplifies how we use GIS for predictive analysis.

05:07Now, understand, before mapping, the best we could hope for was maybe to stumble upon one of these burglars...

05:13...get one or two convictions.

05:15So let me preface this a little bit.

05:17At the time, the first district was having a burglary problem, and I was able to use the GIS system to identify a...

05:24...burglary pattern in that location you see up on the hot zone right there.

05:27It's a very small area.

05:29So this time, I had officers focus their attentions in this small area.

05:32I kid you not, within an hour the radio was going nuts.

05:36Cops were screaming, "Send me back up, I'm in full pursuit!" Lights, sirens, everywhere, it was total chaos.

05:41But it was music to my ears, because thanks to GIS, we were in the right place at the right time.

05:54So I'll never forget the look on Reed's face when I showed him the map.

05:58In fact, I let him make his phone call, he calls his dad and he goes, "Yo, Dad, they got me...

06:02...they even had a map with my name on it."

06:08So I confronted Reed with all this evidence.

06:10Subsequently, he confessed to a total of 16 burglaries.

06:16Thanks to GIS.

06:19Case closed.

06:23Now, I'm not the only one that uses GIS.

06:25Here's an example of an interactive web app that my friends at the criminal intelligence unit use to pump...

06:32...real-time situational awareness of gang activity.

06:36Notice the red polygons.

06:38These are hot zones.

06:39Now, understanding gang territory, a zone can go from cold to hot very rapidly and for a myriad of reasons...

06:46...such as a shooting incident or a threat of retaliation.

06:50Getting this information out to officers on the street is mission-critical in keeping them alive.

06:56GIS has become more important to law enforcement now more than ever.

07:00You know why?

07:02Because in today's economy, we are forced, just like everybody else here, to do more with less.

07:07Fifty cops might retire this month.

07:10It doesn't necessarily mean we're going to get 50 replacements.

07:13Citizens don't want to hear, "We don't have enough cops to do the job."

07:16And they shouldn't have to.

07:18GIS allows us to provide Philadelphia with an even higher level of service using less resources.

07:25Now, I have to admit.

07:26I love being a super detective and having an edge over these guys, but I would be remiss if I didn't thank...

07:31...the real heroes in our eyes, and that's you people.

07:35GIS professionals, that provide us with these amazing maps that allow us to make such a difference.

07:40So from me and on behalf of all my brothers and sisters in blue back at the Philly PD, south detectives...

07:46...thank you, very much.

07:57Thanks, Justin; thanks Grant.

07:58But before you guys leave, I want to share a short story with everyone.

08:02Last month, Justin and I had a cheesesteak on the streets of Philly.

08:06It was a Pat's cheesesteak.

08:08And then, this pizza delivery guy came running across the road to talk to Justin.

08:14And he said, how's that court case going against the guy that carjacked me?

08:18And then he said something really inspiring.

08:20The pizza delivery guy said, "How can I help you? What else can I do?"

08:25And for me, that was an amazing moment.

08:28Because I had firsthand evidence of local citizens working with their law enforcement officials using GIS... make a difference in their community.

08:42Thank you.

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