Tuesday, June 03, 2008

GIS advanced maps for Binghamton Police crime-fighting plan

As part of their crime-fighting plan, Binghamton Police installed cameras at hand-picked locations last year throughout the city. They'll now have access to a map that can pinpoint the most crime-ridden areas, which means more cameras and detailed strategy.

"Within the next week or two, I'm going to be giving my administrative staff some reports showing density maps, where the calls were, what time of day, the day of the week and that would help us greatly in allocating our manpower more efficiently," said Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski.

The advanced maps are part of the new Geographic Information System, or GIS. Broome County already subscribed to the service, but the newly-penned deal now includes the city.

"When we came into office, there was really a hole in the county map, where GIS system was not pertaining to Binghamton and we worked hard to make sure that changed," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

County emergency services have also signed on. They believe the GIS system will be a necessary tool, should a disaster like the 2006 floods strike again.

"To be able to build all the 911 addresses and so on in a layer in GIS, we then will be able to access an area in the mapping right away, an identifying area, that we can use the Reverse 911 New York Alert system to notify, make decisions on evacuations," said Brett Chellis, the county emergency services director.

Officials predict this new GIS system will have a capacity three times that of its predecessor. The total cost of $111,000 will be divided among the different municipalities.



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