Electronic crime fighting high on Supt. Cline's list
April 5, 2004
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
is changing the way we fight crime," says Chicago Police
Department Supt. Philip Cline. Speaking at the City Club of Chicago,
Cline described the department's award-winning Citizen Law Enforcement
Analysis and Reporting system.
that once took days or hours to retrieve now takes literally seconds,"
Cline says. "Officers tap into CLEAR on a daily basis to
check criminal backgrounds of wanted offenders, map crime in a
district or beat, print out mug shots and photos of distinctive
scars and tattoos."
Cline is proud
that CLEAR recently won a CIO Magazine Enterprise Value Award.
"We beat out Fortune 500 companies such as Dell Computer,
Procter & Gamble and Pfizer," Cline says. Kudos to Cline
and his department's development team for their technology efforts.
that Cline's committed to safer neighborhoods in Chicago: He stays
connected to his department using a state-of-the-art wireless
BlackBerry device. "We bought BlackBerrys for the command
staff with seizure funds," Cline said. "Now when there's
a crime at 2 a.m., the entire command staff gets woken up."
Journal tech columnist Walter Mossberg, whose Tech Tools column
appears Saturdays in the Chicago Sun-Times, predicted a declining
role for personal computers as he keynoted the IT Resource Center's
strong potential for wireless handheld devices, and believes "the
Internet is in serious jeopardy due to security and privacy issues."
concerns over computer operating systems. While praising Microsoft
XP, he suggests Microsoft might be too slow delivering its next
version, scheduled for late 2006.
Is he bullish
or bearish on tech innovation? "I'm optimistic about the
digital revolution, and I'm optimistic about the United States,"
Executive Director Deborah Strauss says the event raised $60,000
for the 20-year-old center, a central source of technology hardware,
software and staff training for Chicago's not-for-profit organizations.
the IT Resource Center's consulting and training, hundreds of
organizations learn how to better use technology to realize their
potential," says Shelley Stern, Microsoft community affairs
manager and a center board member. "In the last few weeks,
we've served Easter Seals, the Alliance of Logan Square Organizations,
Life Directions, Kartemquin Films. It's civic, arts, health and
disability, across the spectrum.
them with the planning for their IT in their offices, train staff,
sometimes we install networks."
pros & cons
and the pain of offshoring technology was the focus of last week's
forum organized by the Chicago Software Association, the United
States Printed Circuit Alliance and the Union League Club's TechForum.
CIO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, moderated the
panel, which featured Mike Blair, founder, Cyborg Systems; Joe
Fehsenfeld, president USPCA; John Jasper, CEO, SEI Information
Technology, and Terry Howerton, CEO, FastRoot International.
according to Barry: "The expectations of 50 percent cost
reductions are not being realized in offshoring. Ten percent to
30 percent is far more realistic. There's no question that the
preparation and documentation for offshoring deals are critical.
The due diligence must be complete."
that offshore workers' math and science skills are approaching
parity or exceeding U.S. workers' competencies. The panel's prescription:
"Emphasize domestic math and science education." Good
Cramer of Kudlow & Cramer is doing a series on nanotech. I
e-mailed Cramer, proposing Chicago as a nanotech hub. Reply from
Cramer: "I am certainly willing to entertain the notion of
a nanotech capital of the world."
University nanotech guru Chad Mirkin shares this prescription,
so Chicago takes the nanotech title: "With the efforts at
NU, Argonne, UC, and U of I, we are already close. We need more
VC dollars, increased state support for the universities as well
as business enterprises. We need to retain and grow the talent
we have at our first-class universities and government labs."
Michael Krauss is a Chicago-based tech writer and consultant.