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National LISC News

Applied Technology


As technological advances lead to new tools for police and communities dealing with safety issues, the use of technology may increase the effectiveness of traditional crime-fighting techniques.  Successful CSI programs have shown that technologies such as surveillance cameras or statistical and mapping programs should not be implemented in isolation, but rather, be undertaken as part of a comprehensive community partnership approach to crime and community safety.  In order for the benefits of technology to be fruitful, LISC-CSI believes that communities should have an informed community-police partnership to carry out additional safety initiatives and community development to complement traditional and innovative uses of technology.

Fact Sheets


Information Networks Forge Strong Community-Police Collaboration - Phoenix, AZ

Partners: Fax Net 1 and the Phoenix Police Department

Fax Net 1 is a communications network that links local, state and federal law enforcement agencies operating in Maricopa County to each other and MORE...



CSI partner, SOHI Business Association in Milwaukee, WI collaborated with the Milwaukee Police Department to take advantage of the popular You Tube network as a vehicle for information-sharing regarding safety, security and nuisance abatement.  Posting on YouTube is a cost efficient and effective way to reach a wide audience. Over the course of a year, SOHI posted ten You Tube videos on a range of topics such as how to deal with a nuisance property, the new neighborhood policing plan, the role of the Milwaukee Police Department's Community Prosecution Team and much more. Click on the links below to watch SOHI videos. 

Combating Crime in the Information Age: Additional Applied Technology Strategies Used to Address Public Safety Issues


The Boston Police Department has expanded on its 30 year-old Crime Stoppers program by adding a texting option. Crime Stoppers began as a toll-free hotline for individuals to call anonymously if they had information on a crime (See: the CSI case profiling  Urban Edge Public Safety Services).  Now tipsters also have the option to anonymously text the police with any information they may have. Text-a-tip has the added advantage of being a silent tool with which an individual can relay information to the police. Since its inception, the Boston Text-a-Tip program has received over 460 tips per year via text message.  In addition, phone tips have increased 60% as a result of the text-a-tip program.  Other cities including Seattle, WA; Fresno, CA; San Diego, CA; Tampa, FL; and Kansas City, MO, have also begun to implement this powerful information-sharing tool. Learn more about the Boston Police Department's Text-a-Tip tool


Crime Analysis & Mapping

Crime mapping is a powerful tool used in cities throughout the country to identify crime “hotspots” and analyze trends. Past MetLife Foundation Award winners and CSI partners have bolstered traditional crime maps with graphic analyses of economic development assets and liabilities, creating a more enhanced picture of safety problems and opportunities. For one example, read Curbing Crime, One Street at a Time profiling HomeSight and the Seattle Police Department.

In Philadelphia, the primary function for the Crime Analysis & Mapping Unit at the department is to analyze and illustrate crime-related patterns on computerized maps of the city.  Members of this unit are specialists in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) who prepare this information for use within the department and in the community.  The Philadelphia Police Department holds weekly Compstat (short for Computerized Statistics or Comparative Statistics) meetings where crime maps are displayed for all attendees.   At this meeting, command staff from different districts highlight areas of interest, perform summary statistics and display prominent crime patterns in their neighborhoods. Read about University City District’s award winning partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department in CSI Case Safety on the Commercial Corridor.



GangNet is a national database used by local, state and county law enforcement agencies to compile and track information on gangs and gang members. The easy-to-use interface allows officers to input information on gang members and gang-related crimes gleaned from investigations and discussions with community members into a database accessible to other officers and agencies. In states and cities where GangNet is in operation, such as Miami, Florida, officers have up-to-date information on gang members at their fingertips. (See: CSI case Positive Intervention to Prevent Youth Gang Involvement).  This is an increasingly important tool at a time when gangs are becoming more mobile and harder to track and convict. Find out more on GangNet