Crime Software Maps Out Gang Activity
In an effort to spot gang activity, police in Greensboro, N.C., are turning to a $5,000 computer software program that finds connections among apparently unrelated cases. Called Analyst’s Notebook from i2, the technology can help police trace how a stolen gun got into the hands of a drive-by shooter, or how a gang leader in federal prison knows a local gang member.
It also features a visual spreadsheet that allows officers to get a clearer image of assorted weak relationships, and police can scan photos or download documents into the spreader. Then, they can “draw” lines between different elements and type in descriptions under each line.
Prosecutors in Guilford County plan to use the software in January to show juries how gangs function. Greensboro police detective Bobby Edwards, who oversees the Analyst’s Notebook software for city police, believes there are now fewer gang members in the city.
“The product . . . allows the user to see all the connections, whether it’s financial transactions or a name that has three aliases attached to it, and those three names were being used in different gang activities,” says i2’s spokesman Brian Lustig.
The county’s assistant district attorney Chris Parrish might get his first chance to use the software early this year when he tries a trio arrested for a drive by-shooting in late 2003.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Greensboro News & Record (12/07/04) P. B1; Townsend, Eric J.S.