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CompStat - Computerized Statistics for Crime Reduction

Also known as COMParative STATistics

CompStat is a process, not a computer program.

It is a process of applying four key principles that use technology such as mapping, charting, and statistical analysis, as a tool for targeting crime and applying officer resources based on the intelligence gathered through the technology.

Principle 1: Timely, Accurate Intelligence

Intelligence must be accurate and timely to be effective.

Officers at all levels of the organization must have a precise understanding of when types of crimes are occurring, how and where the crimes are being committed, and who the criminals are.

Traditional policing tactics are directed at apprehending the suspect. While criminal apprehension is an important part of ComStat, it does not stop there.

ComStat requires the police to give attention to the social and environmental situation that may be adding to or creating the problem.

Principle 2: Effective Tactics

Effective tactics must be developed after studying and analyzing the intelligence. In order to bring about permanent change these tactics must be comprehensive flexible and adaptable to changing crime trends.

Solutions, as often as possible, should be collaborative, including support units, other agencies and the public.

ComStat tactics encourage thinking outside the box and mandate that every resource, both internal and external, is considered when police respond to a problem.

Just employing tactics that displaces the crime problem from one area to another is not acceptable.

Principle 3: Rapid Deployment

For decades, police departments have been driven by calls for service and responded with limited resources in a reactive manner. With ComStat, the police department is now armed with vital information regarding emerging crime trends or patterns that allow for a proactive strategic police response.

Once a tactical plan is developed it is necessary to organize and put into operation an assortment of personnel and resources.

By being able to quickly organize and deploy resources in the field in a timely manner, the department is able to control the crime problem before it becomes a crisis

Police can respond to problems using many forms, including traditional uniformed or plainclothes officer response as well as nontraditional stings and decoys.

By breaking down the barriers among the operating units, a new spirit of cooperation and working together materializes and enables the rapid deployment of resources.

Principle 4: Relentless Follow-Up and Assessment:

An essential element in any crucial operation is the need to critically assess past tactics and review what worked and what did not. One of the main differences between private enterprise and the public sector is the bottom line of positive returns. If a business implements an unsuccessful strategy or provides an unacceptable level of customer service, it is not long before it becomes a failed business. Much like a business, the bottom line with ComStat is results.

To properly implement ComStat it is essential to record data before and after the tactics have been deployed in terms of reports of crimes, arrests made, and results achieved. It is necessary to assess the results from the tactics employed;
establish the validity of the tactic;
know how the tactic worked and state clearly which elements worked best, thereby allowing for the design of tactics addressing future crime problems