July 20th, 2024

LPS says CompStat system aids in crime reduction efficiency

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 16, 2024.

Herald photo by Steffanie Costigan Deputy Chief Gerald Grobmeier speaks to reporters about CompStat, a data analysis system aimed at reducing crime by better managing prolific offenders and more efficiently deploying resources, on Thursday at the Lethbridge Police Station.

The Lethbridge Police Service says they are implementing a data analysis system to better manage prolific offenders and more effectively deploy resources to problem areas to reduce crime.

Using the CompStat system allows LPS to access analytics data in a model that identifies high-crime areas and prolific offenders which is said to be, ‘the most effective deployment of police resources,’ said deputy chief Gerald Grobmeier.

“CompStat focuses on four core components, timely and accurate information or intelligence, the rapid deployment of resources, effective tactics and relentless follow up…We’ve been fully using an involving the local CompStat model for almost a year with the goal of providing the right information to the right people at the right time in place in order to support database solutions,” said Grobmeier.

He said CompStat was developed and has been successfully used by the New York Police Department in 1990s. He added it has been used in agencies across the world such as UK, the United States and in Canada.

“The moment the person calls dispatch. The information is shared service wide using an intelligence portal. And each month there’s a cross organizational meeting that includes external representation from parole probation, and we have a close relationship with Crown’s office as well.

Various units and officers are then inside to locate one subjects and force conditions for individuals in the community released on bail or bound by conditional settings in settings quarters developing enforcement and deployment strategies to address locations and addresses with a disproportionate volume of calls for service,” shared Grobmeier.

He says community safety is one of the focuses of the LPS four-year strategic plan and the use of CompStat is the initiative within the 2024, policing annual plan to help reduce crime.

“In each crime category crimes against persons, crimes against property, and drugs, the top type five most prolific offenders are identified. Individuals are ranked based on three months of data, but analytics are used for the last three years to identify any broader trends,” he said.

Grobmeier expressed part of the efforts with prolific offenders is to use CompStat in identifying prolific offenders with outstanding warrants and sharing the offender’s identity with the pubic on LPS social media to gain public assistance in apprehending offenders.

“We’re also encouraging the community to report crimes whenever they occur. So, incidents are recorded. We have the most complete picture of crime in our community and leverage that information to develop enforcement and development strategies,” said Grobmeier.

He voiced the efforts officers make to target and locate offenders that have outstanding warrants, along with conduct regular conditions checks. He added one per cent of offenders in Lethbridge account for over eight per cent of overall crime.

“Enforcing conditions and laying charges when appropriate, is critical to our Offender Management Strategy and efforts to reduce crime.”

Grobmeier said the impact CompStat can have in crime reduction comes with assisting LPS with the data collecting of troubled areas and individuals within Lethbridge.

“By targeting those hotspot areas or problem areas, dealing with that small group. They’re doing most of the crime, we’re hoping that through that effort, and it’s been shown across Canada and across the United States that can have an effect on the crime rate within the within the city,” said Grobmeier.

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Self-fulfilling prophecy – identify a ‘high-crime’ area, increase surveillance, catch more ‘crime’, justify the expensive software.


Test it in Tudor Estates.


I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful this new tool will help assist the police and lower crime rates. Many of us have been impacted by crime in the last 8 years and some have just given up and do report crime anymore.
Although there are a few reasons they don’t bother to report crimes in the downtown, most are caused by LPS being understaffed for a city which is over 100,000 and has seen several years of been high on the Canadian Crime Severity Index. Don’t blame the members! They have gone above and beyond in trying to serve the community! A city who consistently have some of the highest stats for crime in the country should not have been understaffed, but should have seen above per capita staffing.
I have never liked using stats to prove a point, because in today’s society, many now manipulate stats for their own benefit. Examples: the wine industry stating having 2 glasses of wine per day is good for you. Then the beer industry and coffee industry came out with similar studies.
Today I can find studies to prove or disprove the same theory! Studies can be skewed to get the desired results, just like stats collected don’t always consider all the variables.
People need to report crimes, including public urination/defecation, drug use/dealing, graffiti, property damage, assaults, intimidation, etc., to police for this to work properly.
If they can’t send someone right away because another call is more serious, at least the report is in and they will know the areas of the crime. Many just gave up and decided this is the way society is now. Do do that!
Please do not give up on our city and allow it to turn into another Vancouver DTES! We have a choice and many are now focused on ending the carnage on our streets.
The more crimes are reported, the more effective this tool will be!
The highest amount of crimes downtown are attributed to a small group of 100 to 120 people. They have cost this city and the taxpayers tens of millions, with costs per year alone, in the millions and this has to end. They have been allowed to thrive on our streets due to failed harm reduction policies that pushed for less police by government policies, pushed by non-profits.
Those policies have allowed increases in organized crime, gangs, crime, violent crimes, human trafficking, sexual child exploitation, etc.
I disagree with  Deputy Chief Grobmeier on one issue where he states the the increase in violent crimes/assaults downtown are because the newer street drugs they are the problem. In my mind it is because these troublemakers now believe they own the streets because they have been allowed to commit crimes freely for the last few years. They believe the streets are theirs and when business owners get their property tagged with gang tags, that area is theirs.
Some of the other assaults are from gang to gang battles for territory, or other disputes, including organized crime punishing someone. It is not just the drugs, that have made them more aggressive. They have been able take over the streets because of government policies, not police inaction!
I look forward to seeing the results of this new tool, optimistically!