New police database provides hyper-local info to law enforcement

The head of the California Department of Corrections Matthew Cate is flanked by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.
The head of the California Department of Corrections Matthew Cate is flanked by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca. Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Southern California law enforcement officials Tuesday unveiled a new database designed to help them better understand the neighborhoods they police. It's believed to be a first-of-its kind system.

The Community Based Information System was the brainchild of civil rights attorney Connie Rice.

“This gives officers and parole officers as well as community leaders a 3D CAT scan on the community," Rice told a news conference at Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department headquarters.

Rice’s Advancement Project developed the database with partial funding from a federal grant.

Rice, a member of the KPCC board, said the database includes hyper-local information on languages spoken, community leaders, gang turf, student test scores, housing help, drug treatment and job training programs.

Matthew Cate heads the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, one of the agencies that’ll use the database.

“Community Based Information System is exactly what parole needed to help our agents get our offenders in the right program at the right time," Cate said. He said it'll help "prevent them from re-offending and coming back into our prisons.”

Police say it will also help them predict where crime is most likely to occur.

The L.A. and Orange County Sheriff’s Departments and the LAPD also plan to connect every patrol car computer to the new system.

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