Forum #3: Out of the three different types of data collection systems discussed below, which do you feel is the most efficient and why? Original responses to the forum question need to be a minimum of 500 with substantial and significant information supported by at least one additional scholarly reference. The citation and references will be in APA 6th edition style.
Computer-Aided Dispatch System
A computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system is a highly specialized system that uses telecommunications and geographic display to support police dispatch and response functions (as well as those of public safety agencies, such as fire and ambulance services). Police departments use CAD technology to dispatch officers, to keep track of officers’ locations and activities, and to track officer-initiated activity (e.g., traffic stops). Most communication between police officers and dispatchers is recorded in a CAD system. However, a CAD system is not a 911 system, which receives and records actual phone calls from citizens about emergency activity. Typically, a police department transfers key pieces of information about citizen calls for service from the 911 system to the CAD system, which records all information pertaining to dispatched calls.
Records Management System
A records management system (RMS) is the informational heart of any police department's operations (Dunworth, 2005). It is a data entry and storage system designed especially for police records. Some police agencies enter information directly into the RMS, whereas others download information to the RMS from other software programs, such as CAD or crime report-writing software. Ideally, the RMS contains all relevant data within the police agency and can include separate databases such as crime reports, arrest reports, persons information, property and evidence information, vehicle information, accident reports, field information, calls for service, and investigations. The contents of RMSs vary, but the system's purpose, to store crime incidents data and link them with related data, is consistent across different software products and police departments.
Geographic Data System
A geographic data system creates, maintains, and stores geographic data. Typically, city or county agencies use geographic data systems to create and maintain data concerning parcels, buildings, streets, roads, and highways, and to store aerial photographs and other geographic information for use by various departments and agencies (e.g., planning, utilities). In addition, such agencies often obtain tabular and geographic data from other sources—such as census information, demographic information, and typological information—and store them along with local geographic data. It is important to note that police agencies and crime analysts do not collect or maintain the data housed in geographic data systems; rather, they only borrow and use these data for analyses.
Santos, Rachel B. Crime Analysis With Crime Mapping, 3rd Edition. SAGE Publications, Inc, 02/2012. VitalBook file.