Modern Police Partnerships
Modern Partnerships Give LPD High-Level Resources Few Communities Can Access
Working collaboratively with both individuals and other organizations is nothing new in law enforcement. For years, law enforcement has leveraged resources, usually in the form of task forces, but also in informal groups to further the mission of public safety and the common good. Traditionally, these other organizations have been specific to law enforcement, e.g. other police agencies, the Prosecutor’s Office, etc. But what do these partnerships look like when law enforcement expands to research groups and non-governmental entities?
Progressive law enforcement leadership has begun to expand traditional thinking in public safety to include the same types of mindsets that exist in private business. A common theme is, “How can we more efficiently and intelligently provide our service to the public?” In 2010, Chief Roush and the Lafayette Police Department reached out to a group called Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE). VACCINE, who had established itself in July of 2009 in the Purdue University Discovery Park, was the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence in Visual and Data Analytics. VACCINE’s mission was then, and still is, to create methods, tools, and applications in order to analyze and manage vast amounts of information. Harnessing this information in order to create actionable intelligence can aid public safety professionals be more efficient and effective with already limited resources.
Predictive analytics is commonplace in the business world. However, law enforcement is seeing applications with such tools. Leveraging information technology to our benefit is at the center of modern policing efforts. This not only will make the police department more efficient, we will be more effective with the tax dollars that fund public safety efforts. With better data analysis and management, predicting where crime is likely to occur is no longer a topic for science fiction, but is closer to reality with the development of technology and the partnerships between organizations like VACCINE and local law enforcement.
The City of Lafayette and the Lafayette Police Department are extremely fortunate to have Purdue University and all the entities involved in research and development that accompany the university in our backyard. Having access to intellectual resources of this level is significant. Not every community around the country is so fortunate.
Today’s law enforcement agencies face unique problems and challenges that must be navigated with higher levels of adaptability and flexibility than have been utilized in the past. The same can be said for the larger City of Lafayette government. Integrating technology, data analysis, and specific expertise in these fields is not only imperative to progressive law enforcement strategies, but also for the maximization of critical city resources.
Going forward, Mayor Roswarski, Chief Flannelly, and Lafayette Police Department command staff will continue to look for new ways to better provide services to this community. Today’s community challenges require community solutions, and this collaboration is just one example of the connections that are formed in this county to create these solutions. We must also continue to nurture existing partnerships, continuing a productive state of reciprocity and moving our community forward.
For more information regarding the VACCINE’s work and the partnership between the Lafayette Police Department and that organization, please visit http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/vaccine/about/index.php.