06/26/2012 10:45 am ET Updated Aug 26, 2012

The Charleston Police Tap Technology to Reduce Crime

This week I had the honor of announcing a new project that my department is launching with the help of IBM to reduce crime in the City of Charleston. Our department, like those in New York, London, Vancouver and many other elite cities, is utilizing advanced technology to bring the next evolution in police work to our residents and visitors. Our goal is to make Charleston one of the safest cities in which to live and visit.

At its core, the project will allow us to take a new, more holistic view into historical crime statistics and patterns to allow our 400 plus officers to add technology, based on the latest advancements in analytics, to the tools they use to prevent crime before it happens. This initiative bridges the art and science of law enforcement together in a manner that supports both tactical and strategic decision-making. It's all about augmenting the officer's and commander' s experience and knowledge with the information they need to make appropriate decisions that allow resources to be in the right place at the right time, so potential criminals think twice about committing a crime.

In my opinion, this project represents the cutting edge for the future of public safety and a significant move toward Smarter Policing in America.

But I firmly believe that this is just the beginning. I have learned that we must expand our thinking beyond strictly sharing data in bulk, to a mindset in which we can take advantage of tools that allow us to analyze information, create actionable recommendations, and disseminate our findings to my officers in the field that have a critical need for it in real time.

This project couldn't be more important as we strengthen our community and Charleston's reputation as a world-class city. Continuing to improve public safety is among the most important factors influencing a person or businesses choice in where they live, work, or visit. And we want the world to see that Charleston is the best place to live, work and invest in their future.

The key to this will be our ability to compliment our police officers and other first responders with advanced technologies to integrate, collaborate and analyze information that has a meaningful impact on protecting our community.

In short, we have to be smarter about how we protect our residents. And this kind of project is critical to assisting us in being more effective crime fighters and problem-solvers. It has allowed us to join the ranks of cutting-edge cities to gain a more accurate understanding of the data that is already at our disposal, which helps us detect patterns, be preemptive in our actions, and forecast critical information to prevent incidents.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #smartersafety.