CompStat turns 21 -- and opens up to the public

CompStat turns 21 -- and opens to the public

CompStat -- the New York City Police Department crime-tracking system that pioneered predictive analytics for policing -- turned 21 this year.  And to mark that anniversary,  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton held a press conference for the release of CompStat 2.0.

The new CompStat promises greater transparency and interactivity.  It will not only be available to police throughout the city, but also to the public, giving citizens the ability to search all types of crime on a block-by-block basis. 

Additionally, de Blasio and Bratton said 36,000 custom smartphones will be distributed to officers across the city by March and that 1,300 police cars have been outfitted with tablets that will pull up CompStat with the push of a button. Jessica Tisch, NYPD’s deputy commissioner of information technology, said the tablets and smartphones were funded by a $140 million grant.

Mayor de Blasio said the commitment to new and mobile technologies will benefit officers in New York.

“CompStat 2.0 is part of our larger commitment to making the NYPD the most technologically advanced force in the world -- that’s so important for the protection of our officers,” he said. “That’s so important for fighting every-day crime, it’s so important for fighting terror.”

The original CompStat was developed in 1994 by Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple during Bratton’s first term as commissioner. The data-driven application was considered  a key factor in the drop in New York City crime over the last two decades, and it has been adopted by many police departments across the country.

However, CompStat also has had its share of controversy, as critics claim it prioritizes performance metrics over effective community policing. Bratton has been forced to defend the use of the application, and a lawsuit has been brought against Bratton and NYPD by a group of minority officers claiming they were required to meet numerical goals for arrests and court summonses each month.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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