District-Level, Real-Time Crime Centers Can Help Police Reduce Crime Levels
Dec 4, 2019
The Chicago Police Department's Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs) serve as command, control, and communications hubs for staff to gain awareness of what is happening in their districts and decide on responses. In this report, the authors evaluate the processes, organizational structures, and technologies employed in the SDSCs. They also assess the extent to which the introduction of SDSCs was associated with reductions in crime levels.
Evaluation of the Chicago Police Department's Strategic Decision Support Centers
|PDF file||3.3 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs) are the Chicago Police Department's district-level real-time crime centers, launched in January 2017 and expanded in 2018. They serve as command and control centers for staff to gain awareness of what is happening in their districts and decide on responses. SDSCs support daily and weekly planning meetings and provide near–real-time support for detecting, responding, and investigating crimes as they occur. Their objectives are to improve districts' abilities to reduce crime, hold offenders accountable, improve officer safety, and reduce service times.
In this report, the authors evaluate the processes, organizational structures, and technologies employed in the SDSCs. They also assess the extent to which the introduction of SDSCs was associated with reductions in crime levels in the districts. They find that SDSCs are a promising tool for supporting crime reduction. According to the authors' models, a district that adds an SDSC can expect to see reductions in at least some of the ten types of major crimes modeled, including shootings, robbery, burglary, and criminal sexual assault.
More broadly, the authors see SDSCs as a promising model for improving law enforcement agencies' awareness of their communities, improving their decisionmaking, and carrying out more effective and more efficient operations that lead to crime reductions and other policing benefits.
The report contains several recommendations for the CPD, which the department had already begun to implement at the time of publication.
Crime Rate Outcomes Evaluation
Summary and Conclusions
This research was sponsored by Chicago Police Department and the Bureau of Justice Assistance and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.