The Village of Oak Brook police department deals with crime and burglary incidents on a daily basis. With the Oak Brook center mall and extensive business district multiple incidents can occur in a short period of time. Prior to the implementation of GIS, the police department would manually enter each incident into a database by shift, date, location and type of incident. In order to review the crimes for the month, staff would have to sort through the database to determine how many burglaries, residential theft, forgery, etc. occurred. In order to visualize where the crimes occurred, staff would use push pins on a village map.
Using GIS, incidents were able to be visually depicted on a map through a process called geocoding. Geocoding allows addresses to be brought into GIS and placed in the correct location. Once all crimes and burglaries were brought into GIS, analysis was performed to highlight areas of high crime/burglaries. Maps where then created based on crime type (forgery, residential burglary, theft to motor vehicle, retail theft) that highlighted high areas for that particular incident. Summary statistics were then used to show how many incidents occurred per month and beat for each incident type.
The maps allowed police personnel to determine trends in crime and burglaries over the year and determine where additional police personnel would be needed. The police currently update their maps on a quarterly basis and look to do an analysis of crime by shift in the future.