Niagara Gazette

February 3, 2014

Councilwoman wants city to expand on police's Comp Stat program

By Justin Sondel justin.sondel@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti is calling for other city departments to use technology that has been helping the police department run more efficiently in recent years.

Grandinetti has asked Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto to give a presentation on his department’s use of Comp Stat, a computer system that tracks crime data in real time, at today’s council meeting so that other departments — specifically the department of public works, the fire department and the inspections department — can explore using the technology to their advantage.

Grandinetti said the city continues to face a structural deficit in the budget and needs to use every tool it has to increase efficiency.

“My feeling is we have the technology and we owe it to ourselves to explore the ways it might be used in other departments,” Grandinetti said.

The technology was developed for the Baltimore Police Department in the 1990s but has since been adopted by other cities, both for their police departments and other city offices, according to a press release from the city council offices.

Grandinetti believes the technology could help the departments more efficiently use resources, she said. 

For example, the DPW could have used the system to track equipment, personnel and problem areas during weather events like the many winter storms that have hit the region this season, she said.

“If we have this tool at our disposal we should be using it as often as we can,” Grandinetti said.

Her push to implement the system in the departments is in no way a criticism of the people who work hard to make the city a safe place to live, she added.

But those employees could be more efficient if they were using the technology.

“Right now we’re trying to take this city in a new direction and trying to streamline departments and  be more efficient is part of that,” Grandinetti said.

Dave Kinney, the director of the DPW, said he has not looked into the possibility of using the technology in his department, but is willing to explore any options that will help him run a more efficient operation.

“I’m game for anything once I’ve had a chance to see how it fits in,” Kinney said.

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257