Identifying High Risk Crime Areas with GIS

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Ensuring public safety is one of the most important duties of local
government, and also one of its greatest challenges. Like most
communities, the Village of Glenview, IL is no stranger to
inconsistencies in crime location throughout the village. However, there
are some areas that require extra attention. The Police Department has
identified locations across the Village that are considered high risk or
prone to a heavy volume of calls to the department. Understanding where
these locations are and what categorizes them as high risk can go a
long way in providing exceptional police service and ensuring public
safety.

The Glenview Police Department recently tasked the Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) Department with developing a way to display
these areas of high risk from a spatial perspective, along with
additional information on each location. The end result serves the
purpose of not only providing officers-in-training with a resource to
learn where high risk areas are, but also to allow veteran officers to
view these areas from a more spatial perspective. Using information
provided by Police, GIS staff created a custom layer in the village’s
interactive mapping application, MapOffice™ Advanced, which displays
each of these locations, along with additional information as needed.
In some instances, such as the residence of a frequent perpetrator, a
mug shot image is linked to the location for display to further aid
Police.

Without GIS, the Police Department would have to rely on personal
knowledge or rough sketches drawn up that show the locations of these
high risk areas, along with viewing any recorded notes that may exist
for each area. In both documenting and displaying these high risk areas
using GIS, Police can now obtain a wealth of information with the click
of a mouse, further enabling them to continue to provide the high level
of public safety that is so important to the Village of Glenview
residents.