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U of M Shares Police Department Award for Innovative Technology University News
For release: June 4, 2009

For press information, contact Dr. Richard Janikowski, 901-678-1308

The University of Memphis is sharing a Memphis Police Department award for the use of inventive technology to fight crime.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police recognized the MPD recently with the Excellence in Law Enforcement Communications Interoperability award for innovative technology developed and integrated into its Real Time Crime Center (RTCC). Along with police department representatives, Dr. Richard Janikowski, associate professor and director of the U of M’s Center for Community Criminology and Research, accepted the award in Dallas.

Dr. Richard Janikowski
Dr. Richard Janikowski
Janikowski’s presence illustrates the contributions the University is making toward battling crime. Faculty and staff at the Center for Community Criminology and Research and the Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA) have been working with the MPD’s Real Time Crime Strategy, part of the department’s Blue C.R.U.S.H. efforts to develop innovative analytic approaches for identifying crime hot spots, detecting evolving crime patterns, and integrating crime data with community information to explain crime patterns and provide essential information for data-driven problem solving.

Data from CBANA on foreclosures and property vacancy is being integrated with crime incident information to identify clusters being targeted by offenders. In addition, CBANA is developing a “community indicators system” in conjunction with the MPD to support enhanced problem solving and community mobilization for use by practitioners, researchers and community organizations.

The Center for Community and Criminology Research also is working with the RTCC to implement a regional law enforcement data integration process to allow tracking of offenders and crime patterns across jurisdictional boundaries, enhance monitoring of repeat offenders, and support investigations by implementing a multiple database search system.

“Not only has MPD developed innovative technology, but it has resulted in substantial crime reduction in the city of Memphis,” said Janikowski. “Too often it is looked at as just numbers, but it is important to remember that each of those numbers represents a human being. Reducing crime means fewer victims suffering loss. I think we can be very proud of our role in improving our community, using research to make a difference.”

Janikowski and Phyllis Betts, director of CBANA, plan to work with the MPD over the next year to develop additional applications, analytic tools, and data approaches to extend its efforts into building community revitalization strategies and enhancing other crime control strategies. “MPD is very excited about being able to integrate the databases and research that Phyllis has been developing, and will develop in the future, regarding community indicators and revitalization into a community-wide strategy for information sharing and enhanced community analysis,” said Janikowski.

MPD Director Larry Godwin added, “This award is the result of the hard work of the men and women of the Memphis Police Department, the leadership and vision of the MPD, the department’s information technology staff, Dr. Janikowski and his associates from the University of Memphis, and the vision of the Honorable Mayor W.W. Herenton. The crime reduction we are experiencing is directly related to our development of technology.”

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