The Department of Justice's COPS Office newsletter Community Policing Dispatch had an interesting story this week about a partnership between the pharmacy industry and police to combat the rise in pharmacies being robbed for prescription medications.
Companies who produce some of the most sought after and most addictive drugs are also joining forces with law enforcement, as well as pharmacies, to provide education and training on how to prevent and deal with a pharmacy robbery. One such advent is RxPATROL system (Rx Pattern Analysis Tracking Robberies & Other Losses) developed by Purdue Pharma (makers of OxyContin/oxycodone). This system is an easy way for everyone involved, from law enforcement to pharmacy technicians, to access information about pharmacy robberies in their area. RxPATROL goes further than that though, providing in-depth reports on pharmacy crime and prevention, tools, the ability to track trends in criminal activity, and even providing law enforcement with closed circuit video and photographs of suspects after a robbery. One unique feature is that it allows law enforcement to network and build relationships in order to solve robberies where the suspect may have crossed into another jurisdiction.Development of a multi-jurisdictional information hub such as RxPatrol is a great idea for those tasked with solving such crimes. Given that many of these crimes occur across jurisdictions it would be hard to tie connected crimes together without an effort like this.
This isn't the first time I've seen an affected industry step in to assist in solving these kinds of crimes. A similar effort has been undertaken to solve bank robberies with the website BanditTracker which provides information about bank robbers here in Texas as well as other states by Bandit Tracker affiliated sites. Often times industry has the resources to create these databases that individual police agencies just don't have.
What other types of crimes could be fought with these types of police/industry partnerships?