Law enforcement use of the technology has surged over the past decade. According to a study by the Gartner Group, 90 percent of U.S. police departments are expected to use GIS systems by the end of 2009. Compare that to 1998 when, according to the Crime Mapping Research Center, only about 13 percent of the 2000 police agencies surveyed in the United States used computerized crime maps, and fewer than half of those shared their maps with the public.
Digital maps have been used to redraw police districts in Tuscon, Arizona and Charlotte, North Carolina, and they’ve been credited with helping reduce crime in East Orange, New Jersey. And unlike the system pioneered by the New York City Police Department’s fabled CompStat program, today’s crime maps are not limited to internal police use. Cities like Los Angeles, Savannah, Georgia, and Lincoln, Nebraska, to name just a few, make their maps available to the general public.
“Part of what we are is trying to empower citizens,” says Judy Paul of the Savannah Police Department. “We hope it will help people make smarter decisions about their safety.” Source: The Crime Report
Mapping in law enforcement goes back to the turn of the century. Modern GIS and crime mapping tools make map production, faster, more analytical and easier to publish.