Crime stats at Pennsylvania's fingertips
- By Nicholas Morehead
- Apr 11, 2001
The Pennsylvania State Police launched a crime-reporting Web site that provides
instant access to detailed statewide crime statistics.
The Uniform Crime Reporting System's Web site (ucr.psp.state.pa.us) is the result of a collaboration among Web business
intelligence firm Information Builders Inc., Electronic Data Systems Corp.
and the Pennsylvania State Police. It is designed to help police fight crime
more effectively while enabling citizens to have immediate access to the
crime statistics of towns, counties, regions and college campuses.
Crime data previously was released in an annual report.
The Uniform Crime Reporting System site enables law enforcement and
citizens to analyze fresh data on a month-by-month basis. Features include
trend monitoring and tracking through archived data, personalized queries
and access to the annual "Crime in PA" report.
"The system we had was 25 years old and was in need of a major update,"
said Carey Robinson, unit supervisor for the State Police. "Departments
were sending us their reports assuming that their data was correct, but
it often wasn't, and we'd end up spending time correcting their data."
The site uses Information Builder's WebFocus, a Web-based application
that tries to achieve greater functionality between networked systems. The
program runs on Microsoft Corp. Windows NT, Unix, Linux and other operating
systems, so it is flexible enough to fit a given infrastructure intranet,
extranet or Internet.
"The technology that we have doesn't mean a lot unless you have a specific
business plan, opportunity or problem to solve," said Steve Robichaud, state
and local practice manager for Information Builders. In the case of the
Pennsylvania State Police, the problem was with crime-reporting capabilities.
The new system is the first Web-based unified crime reporting system
at the state level that allows for a complete tie-in from most local areas
of law enforcement up to the federal level, Robichaud said.