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An Evaluation of Chicago’s Citizen ICAM Program

At present time, almost every individual is an avid user or, at least, know how to use the internet. It can be stated that internet has been a part of people’s lives ever since it was exposed publicly. Having this as an opportunity, it is a wise move for the Chicago Police Department to create their own homepage where they can post information concerning their activities and programs. One of which is their Citizen ICAM Program.

In order to have a better understanding of the nature and scope of criminal and social problems in the community as well as to improve resource allocation, several crime control and prevention organizations are turning to computerized mapping (Rich, 1996). The usefulness of this computerized mapping such as the Chicago’s Citizen ICAM Program is that they cater easy access of information regarding the crimes within the premises.

This program assists the residents of Chicago City in problem-solving and fighting crime and disorder in their neighborhoods (www. gis. chicagopolice. org). In addition, it was reported that the city officials have found this program to be a very valuable tool. This program has a unique ability to superimpose different data sets such as citizen complaints, the locations of specific sites, census data and among others. Computerized maps can provide a multidimensional overview of crime and its potential contributing factors (Rich, 1996).

Although it has been declared that Chicago Police Department has put together one of the most accessible and easy-to-use programs in the nation, still it has its own flaws. ICAM is currently limited in its ability to aid crime analysis. For example, an officer cannot generate a map of calls for service or arrests (Rich, 1996). Another observation would be that they lack contact information in their homepage. It is suggested that information regarding the contact details of the Chicago Police Department should also be posted on their homepage.

The reason for this is for the citizens residing within the premises could have an easy access to them for further inquiries. References Rich, T. F. (1996). Information Collection for Automated Mapping (ICAM). Retrieved July 22, 2009 from http://www. ojp. usdoj. gov/nij/pubs-sum/160764. htm Chicago Police Department Clear Map Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting. Retrieved July 20, 2009 from http://gis. chicagopolice. org

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