What distinguishes CRIME De-Coder from other firms
QUALITY: CRIME De-Coder is an expert on criminal justice, policing, and statistical methodology. CRIME De-Coder uses a combination of local data and evidence based policies to give actionable advice.
CODE: CRIME De-Coder provides fully reproducible computer code that demonstrates how the analysis was conducted, not just a final document with reported findings.
COST: The majority of CRIME De-Coder's projects are between $3,000 and $30,000 dollars (with the majority being under $10,000).
Three examples of consulting firms providing services to police departments that CRIME De-Coder would provide higher quality end results for far less cost.
1. Workload analysis for Dallas PD, several years and $500,000
The Dallas Police Department contracted with a large accounting firm to conduct a workload analysis, which took several years and cost the city $500,000. The final report is 400 pages in total, although the majority are just repeated tables and charts for different areas of the city. It is really only 40 pages of substantive content.
There are a few distinguishing factors between CRIME De-Coders service and this large consulting firm. Price and time (any analysis CRIME De-Coder would do is likely to be done in less than 3 months). CRIME De-Coder doesn't just swoop in, drop a 400 page PDF, and go away. CRIME De-Coder would discuss your agencies needs and right size the scope of the project. CRIME De-Coder provides code to replicate the report. So in the future it is simpler to generate updated estimates.
CRIME De-Coder is also cognizant of how public sector budgets are limited and can give advice to reduce costs. Instead of charging to digitize different paper reports (what the consulting firm did for Dallas PD), CRIME De-Coder would say “can you have your staff that already inputs report data also upload that data in a standardized way?”. If there is a simple cost-saving solution, CRIME De-Coder will tell that to your agency.
2. Raleigh PDs $90,000 Riot Report
In response to George Floyd protests, the Raleigh Police Department contracted with a firm to produce an action report and future recommendations for just under $90,000. The final report is 53 pages with 38 recommendations. The report is almost wholly pure speculation and insipid advice (e.g. “should explore the potential benefits of more rigorously enforcing the ordinances relevant to the permitting of First Amendment protected activity”). Most of it reads like a brochure for a police tech magazine to purchase gizmos.
CRIME De-Coder provides services that estimate costs and benefits of technology purchases specifically tailored to your agency. For example, this Raleigh report gives three sentences suggesting the use of CCTV (fixed CCTV is terrible advice for this scenario) or helicopter support (drones are likely a better option).
If your city is interested in CCTV, CRIME De-Coder can provide analysis to identify the hot spots of crime (where the best places to place the cameras would be), and calculate estimated crime reductions and clearance rate increases likely to occur in response to those installations. You can then make a determination if the costs of the technology are worth the investment. CRIME De-coder will not charge your agency $2,000 for a bullet point.
3. A startup Early Intervention System for $900,000
Dallas PD contracted a startup that will “cost the city at most $907,485” for an early intervention system (EIS). Maybe this firm will be better than most companies that are “3 strikes and you are flagged” EIS systems, but there is no way to know. None of the individuals in this start up have published research on the topic (I have), nor have proven to be good at predictive modeling (I am, winning data competitions sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and NASA for example).
You should not pay $900,000 for a slick website and a dashboard. You should pay less money for rigorous empirical analysis that can be leveraged indefinitely for your agency. At a fraction of the cost compared to most data analytics firms, CRIME De-Coder will provide computer code to create an effective EIS system.
If you are thinking of using some of these higher dollar value firms for data analysis or reporting services, I encourage you to reach out to CRIME De-Coder for a free consultation and see if my services are a better solution for your agency.