detective watching surveillance video (FrameStockFootages/

Glendale builds schedule optimizer for its police department

To improve its police department’s process for designing and managing shift schedules for its patrol areas, Glendale, Ariz., worked with Arizona State University Smart City Cloud Innovation Center, to develop cloud-based schedule optimizing software.

Using a mix of historical information and data on real-time conditions such as traffic,  available resources, number of phone calls, call levels and response times, SmartBeats uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to determine the optimal schedules and beats for the Glendale Police Department.

The application’s dashboard will display the real time “health” of the force so that commanders can assess conditions in the field and strategically deploy their current resources.

SmartBeats will also enable patrol schedulers to log in and immediately know which areas are in direct compliance with staffing and response-time standards by color coding patrol areas green, yellow and red.

Additionally, users can reconfigure the beats and run multiple scenarios in the “design” tab based on current and historical trends over a desired period of time. Under the “data” tab, the underlying health of the current information used in the algorithm can be assessed and updated.

Schedulers can automate their common tasks and use the algorithm’s enhanced analytics capabilities for tactical decision making. The tool will help the Glendale Police Department reach its goal of officers spending only two-thirds of their time responding to calls and completing administrative tasks so that they can be available and engaged with the community.

“The safety and security of the public remains our focus as we leverage technologies to better serve the community based on what’s going on in the community,” Glendale Police Chief Jay Ochoa said.

The university’s Smart Cities Cloud Innovation Center is part of a long-term collaboration between ASU and Amazon Web Services to improve digital experiences for smart city designers, expand technology alternatives while minimizing costs, spur economic and workforce development and facilitate sharing public-sector solutions within the region.

About the Author

Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of capital-area news outlets. He can be reached at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.


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