Contact:  Janine Kava, Press Office                                                               
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8906 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
 janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov

or

Janet Grenslitt
Center for Digital Government
(916) 932-1300
jgrenslitt@centerdigitalgov.com

For immediate release: Monday, May 24, 2010

DCJS honored for Crime Analysis Center initiative

Agency is one of eight nationwide recognized for using technology to enhance public safety

For the second time in less than a year, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has been honored for an innovative data-sharing project that allows law enforcement agencies in four of the state’s urban centers to access and share millions of records, enhancing those agencies’ ability to fight crime.

DCJS was one of eight government agencies nationwide that earlier this month received The Center for Digital Government and Emergency Management magazine’s inaugural Emergency Management Digital Distinction Awards for the digital infrastructure that makes data sharing possible at Crime Analysis Centers in Albany, Erie, Monroe and Onondaga counties.

The centers provide law enforcement in those counties – police and probation departments, and sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices – with a centrally located unit responsible for conducting in-depth analysis of all county crime data.

Two products provided by Visual Analytics Inc. of Frederick, Maryland – VisuaLinks and DIG – allow 87 crime analysts in the four centers to access, search and mine data on 56 different databases. Their work results in rapid discovery of crime hotspots and potential hotspots, identification of crime patterns before they become crime trends, and daily briefs on crime data so law enforcement officials can make informed tactical and deployment decisions.

“Strategic use of technology in the fight against crime has become standard operating procedure at the Division of Criminal Justice Services, and it has been embraced by our local law enforcement partners as well,” DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said.  “The intelligence generated by the Crime Analysis Centers enables law enforcement executives to make decisions about tactical day-to-day deployment and long-term planning, provides investigators with leads to solve crimes and gives officers on the street crucial information that keeps them, and the public, safer.”

The Crime Analysis Centers build upon the success of Operation IMPACT, the state’s crime-fighting program that targets 17 counties Upstate and on Long Island, by expanding the key philosophies of that initiative – accurate use of timely crime data, use of technology to complement and enhance traditional crime-fighting strategies – to all law enforcement agencies in those counties.  

According to The Center for Digital Government, all emergency management government agencies – including fire, public safety, law enforcement, and homeland security – were invited to submit information technology projects which resulted in measurable improvements in the lives of the people and businesses they serve. The contest was underwritten by Microsoft.

The Digital Distinction Awards were given in five different categories: Most Innovative Use of Technology, Most Efficient Use of Technology, Best Collaboration and Information Sharing, Best Process Improvement, and Most Cost Effective.

DCJS was one of two agencies honored in the Best Process Improvement category; the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management also was recognized in that category for its integrated public warning system. One other agency in New York State – the North Castle (Westchester County) Police Department – received an award, in the Most Cost Effective category for its computer-aided dispatch/records management system. Last fall, DCJS received The Center for Digital Government’s “Best of New York” award for its Crime Analysis Center initiative.

Cathilea Robinett, executive vice president for the Center for Digital Government, said: “We congratulate the winners of the Emergency Management Digital Distinction awards. With budgets tighter than ever, they are outstanding examples of projects and applications which facilitate first responders and ultimately enhance their mission of keeping citizens safe.”

Added Marty Pastula, vice president for the Emergency Management Media Group: "Through their project execution, diligence and determination to serve citizens, these projects embody excellence in the emergency management public sector.”

Information about the other honorees is available at http://www.centerdigitalgov.com/.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including collection and analysis of statewide crime data; operation of the DNA databank and criminal fingerprint files; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds that support both prosecution and defense services; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry and a toll-free telephone number (1-800-262-3257) that allows anyone to research the status of an offender.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.  Emergency Management magazine is the award-winning, all-hazards publication of record for emergency management, public safety and homeland security stakeholders. The Center and Emergency Management are divisions of e.Republic, the nation’s leading publishing, research, event and new media company focused on the state and local government and education markets.