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SF District Attorney Pushes For New Crime-Fighting Technology

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San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ChrisFilippi 20100909_KCBS_0379r Chris Filippi
Chris is a proud graduate of Castro Valley High School and San Jose...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s top prosecutor wants to bring the same sort of technology he used to track crime while serving as police chief to the district attorney’s office.

It’s known as CompStat – shorthand for comparable statistics. And, it does just that: the system gathers and analyzes crime statistics and helps law enforcement identify crime “hotspots.”

CompStat incorporates crime mapping systems along with database collection in a system combining hardware and software, including mobile devices.

District Attorney George Gascon introduced the system locally, when he was appointed chief of the San Francisco Police Department.

Gascon is confident that the computer program can be manipulated in a way that proves beneficial to the prosecutors managing thousands of cases in the city each year.

“Frankly, I wanted to do this sooner but we really didn’t have the data for the systems to be able to gather this information. Now we’re beginning to see that process come into place,” he explained.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

To the best of his knowledge, Gascon said no other district attorney has begun using CompStat to prosecute criminal cases. He sees great value in blazing this trail.

“In working with the police department, doing our own data assessment, we’ll be able to determine what is the best course of action not only for the particular case that we’re facing but taking the larger picture of particular neighborhoods and the community overall.”

“The other thing that’s going to be a tremendous tool for us,” he continued, “is to be able to assess what is working, what is not working internally and be able to track patterns and track information over periods of time and be able to assess the quality of our work.”

The idea is still in a “conceptual” stage, but Gascon hopes to launch what he’s coined DAStat early next year. To that end, he anticipates hiring somebody to serve in a capacity as an “information officer” to focus on the computer system.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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