Pursuit of Suspect Timeline Map


Using technology to assist with police department operations is
become more and more important in today’s world. From providing new
safety devices to help protect officers to supplying comprehensive
vehicle registration information during a traffic stop, the use of
technology has made departments more prepared and, as a result, more
efficient in completing their day to day tasks. For the Village of
Winnetka, IL police department, integrating technology includes
utilizing the village’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program to
perform basic mapping and advanced spatial analysis of department data.
For example, to help better establish an incident’s timeline during a
recent investigation, the department asked the village GIS staff to
develop a map showing the different locations of an officer’s pursuit of
a suspect from the beginning to the end of the event.

Provided with Global Positioning System (GPS) location information
collected from the officer’s vehicle during the incident, the GIS staff
was able to plot out the available X and Y coordinates to visualize the
path the officer’s vehicle took during the pursuit. In addition to the
spatial location of each recorded point, the time each point was
collected was also provided, allowing for the development of a spatial
timeline describing where and when the officer was while pursuing the
suspect. To help see how the events of the pursuit developed, each
point that was recorded was placed on a map and labeled with its
corresponding time, giving the department a powerful learning tool for
reviewing pursuit procedures and evaluating the course of action that
was taken to better prepare for a similar incident in the future.