Police data collection to continue year-round
Original post made on Nov 9, 2007
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 9, 2007, 3:21 PM
on Nov 9, 2007 at 11:11 pm
> But for administrative staff, the compilation takes about 800 hours
> a year, according to the department's Director of Technical
> Services Sheryl Contois.
> It takes an officer about five minutes to enter the information,
> which also includes the location of the stop and its resolution.
> Until this year, the officers wrote the information down on cards;
? now they enter it into a computer, Contois said.
There are about 10,000 traffic stops a year, so at five minutes a stop the total time required to enter this data is about 833 hours. Presumably this is the same 800 hours that the Police Technical Services Director is talking about, but that is not clear.
What is sad is that with a computer in the patrol car, the time-of-day, GPS coordinates of the location where the stop was executed can be provided to a program that collects this sort of data. If the Officer were to enter M or F for sex, a 1-3 character code for stop type and stop resolution, and the Zipcode of the detained person's address, it would seem that it would take only a few seconds to get this information entered. As long as the cards are not needed as a check-and-balance against fraudulent/erroneous entries by the officer, then this process could be reduced to a few seconds.
The officer would upload the data file at some point, and GPS coordinates and city/state would be looked up from a Zipcode lookup table on a server computer. The now completed file would be forwarded to the person who compiles this information. Any/all reports should be compiled either from Excel spreadsheet processing, or some simple program written for purposes of report formatting.
Here we are in the middle of Silicon Valley and it seems that no one in the Police Department remotely understands what is possible with a computer.
on Nov 10, 2007 at 10:07 am
I was so happy, years ago, when race was outlawed as a government statistic. With electronics it would be possible to make an absolute racial ID during a traffic stop. So much for equal justice under the law.
on Nov 10, 2007 at 10:38 am
I believe the 800 hours of time is what the staff puts in to record all that data. It's an additional 800+ for the cops to plug in their data.