The modern law enforcement agency relies on technological tools to make the most of scarce resources and limited personnel. Among the most important of these tools is a law enforcement data management solution that provides a seamless way to access, consolidate, and organize all the information needed to conduct a successful investigation.
In our experience, agencies considering Accurint Virtual Crime Center alternatives look for law enforcement data management platforms that:
- Improve officers’ situational awareness and enhance officer safety.
- Democratize data, making it easy for officers in the field to get the information they need when and where they need it without being dependent on crime analysts.
- Promote ease of use, so finding information is quick and seamless, as any process that is too cumbersome will slow down investigative efforts.
- Connect to a breadth of data sources, facilitating the ability to put the pieces of the investigative puzzle together.
- Easily integrate with other investigative software, such as case management platforms, to better promote prioritization and tracking of leads as well as organization of tasks and management of resources.
- Can send and receive time-sensitive or emergency alerts and share with other departments and across jurisdictions immediately, improving public safety in real-time.
Note: CrimeTracer’s law enforcement data management system includes all the features just discussed. You can read about it in detail below or reach out to our sales team to learn more about how CrimeTracer can help your agency expedite investigations.
Accurint Virtual Crime Center (AVCC), from the information and analytics provider LexisNexis, draws on a vast database of public records (like the way CrimeTracer can access Thomson Reuters CLEAR data). It gives users access to information about persons and objects of interest.
AVCC is intended more for an agency’s crime analyst team than for individual patrol officers in the field, and as such, it is better suited to supporting ongoing investigations than to generating immediate tactical leads. It has very powerful reporting and mapping features and is able to generate detailed, attractive maps and charts showing criminal activity and trends.
What Are the Leading Accurint Virtual Crime Center Alternatives?
While many agencies have implemented Accurint Virtual Crime Center as a critical tool in their investigative strategy toolkit, it may not be the right fit for every need and use case.
In this post, we’ll introduce some Accurint Virtual Crime Center alternatives, specifically diving into CrimeTracer’s law enforcement data management system and all the features that make it a compelling choice for agencies to consider.
Accurint Crime Center Alternative # 1: CrimeTracer
CrimeTracer, formerly known as COPLINK X, is a powerful search engine that provides access to more than 1 billion local and state law enforcement records, plus billions more from the National Data Exchange (N-DEx), the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LinX), the Thomson Reuters CLEAR database of public records, and more.
Using natural language search terms and concepts, CrimeTracer can generate high-quality search results that can expedite investigations. Additionally, the software can generate link charts demonstrating the connections between people, vehicles, etc. found in the records searched, as well as geographical maps depicting crime frequency in particular areas, which is of great use to both command staff and investigative teams as well as to the larger communities they serve.
CrimeTracer Key Feature # 1: Quick Search Feature Promotes Situational Awareness and Officer Safety
For officers and investigators who are constantly out in the field responding to incidents, arriving at crime scenes, and speaking to witnesses, tools that promote situational awareness and officer safety are of the utmost importance. CrimeTracer provides historical information needed which gives an officer in the field the necessary context needed to stay safe.
For example, whenever a user runs a name, license plate, or address, the system automatically aggregates and generates a list of every contact that entity has been associated with. By glancing at the list of occurrence/incident/arrest types, officers can get an immediate summary of everything the target individual, vehicle, or location has been involved in or with in the past, regardless of which agencies had the contacts. CrimeTracer generates a “Tag Cloud” of the most prevalent names, plates, and addresses “associated with” any queried person, place, or thing, making it easier for investigative teams to identify patterns. In contrast, this type of search done in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or against state DMV systems doesn’t return this richness of data.
Similarly, with CrimeTracer’s Person search, an investigator can see everything that a potential suspect has been involved in, as well as the locations where he or she is most likely to be found, based on previous history with documented contacts.
With this contextual information, officers in a vehicle, knocking on a door, or even looking for a witness to interview, can take the necessary officer-safety precautions when they are aware of a violent past or previous history of resisting or assault on law enforcement. Once again, better information leads to better decisions, which produce better outcomes.
Key Feature # 2: Generate Tactical Leads with an Accessible, Easy-to-Use Platform That Empowers Officers and Expedites Investigations
Some law enforcement data management systems are better suited for five users, while others are more scalable and suited for 500. While Accurint Virtual Crime Center’s software certainly offers robust reporting, it also comes with a steep learning curve, and its day-to-day usage is better suited for a small team of crime analysts. While this can have its benefits, it also poses the risk that information will become siloed and leave officers dependent on their crime analyst teams to move investigations forward.
Given this limitation, command staff looking to empower their entire agency to leverage data should consider a solution like CrimeTracer. Known as the “Google for cops,” CrimeTracer is praised among departments for its accessibility. “The most important part [of CrimeTracer] is its ease of use,” said Captain Aaron Yarnell from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. “The user interface is very clean and very simple. Our officers can use it without much instruction…it’s a very easy database to navigate around.”
Many other databases require multiple steps, multiple logins, and many password changes, which, as Yarnell discusses, can be a challenge for officers who are used to conducting investigations in a certain way. With CrimeTracer, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office was able to push the application out through their mobile management program for cell phones and iPads, making it easily accessible for all officers and investigators within the department.
In addition to the general ease of use, CrimeTracer’s Quick Search feature empowers officers and investigators the information they need to generate immediate tactical leads on the field, without being reliant on the crime analyst team back at the office to keep investigations moving forward.
A 10-second overview of CrimeTracer’s Quick Search Feature
Key Feature #3: Breadth of Data Sources Ensures Comprehensive and Accurate Search Results
CrimeTracer aggregates data from over 1.3 billion records, including record management systems (RMS), computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, license plate readers (LPRs), ShotSpotter, jail management systems (JMS), court warrant records, Thomson Reuters CLEAR data, and more — both from your agency and nearby jurisdictions. In our conversations with agencies, we’ve found that this ability to generate data from nearby jurisdictions is incredibly useful. “The big thing is, it pulls police reports from other agencies,” says Deputy Chief David Powell. Not only do you get to see what’s in your local area, but there are reports from out West or down South. It gives you more insight into who this person is, what they’re involved in, and who their friends and who their associates may be as well.”
For example, an officer responding to a report of gunfire might get a description on the spot from a witness about a vehicle involved in the shooting and its driver. Entering those search terms into CrimeTracer can return results from police reports nearby, but also from multiple agencies in other jurisdictions and from a variety of data sources at those agencies. That improves the responding officer’s situational awareness, as well as the ability to generate immediate investigative leads.
Key Feature # 4: Seamless Integration with Case Management Software and Other Investigative Tools
Real-time actionable intelligence can often come from information associated with an existing or ongoing case. CaseBuilder, another component of SoundThinking’s SafetySmart investigative platform, lets investigators set up a digital case folder to collect documents, scene details, officers’ observations and notes, CCTV videos and images, citizen tips, and other relevant information pertaining to a case, producing a searchable indexed reference of evidence and information collected.
Thanks to CrimeTracer’s integration with CaseBuilder, initiating a search for an individual on CrimeTracer is as simple as a single click. Upon initiating the search, there are two potential outcomes:
- Exact Match:
In the event of an exact match, where the person’s name is already present in one of the law enforcement databases accessible to CrimeTracer, a single click on the individual’s profile yields additional details such as demographics and even a mugshot. Swiftly, you can attach all this pertinent information to the corresponding entry in your CaseBuilder folder with just one click.
- Exploring Connections:
Alternatively, you can leverage CrimeTracer’s capability to unveil connections between individuals. This involves tracing visual links and discovering relationships. For instance, you may uncover that the subject has a brother. Following this lead, you can further investigate the brother’s residence and identify other individuals sharing the same address. Again, with a simple click, you can seamlessly integrate these newfound connections and their associated information into your CaseBuilder folder. These insights serve as actionable leads for your investigative efforts.
Importing a CrimeTracer lead into CaseBuilder — 10-second overview
Key Feature #5: Send and Receive Time-Sensitive Alerts and Improve Public Safety in Real Time
Criminal activity doesn’t pause to let law enforcement catch up. For example, if an officer investigating a gun crime gets a lead on a shooter, it can be critical to get a description out to other officers and jurisdictions as soon as possible.
CrimeTracer has a Crime Bulletin feature that allows authorized agencies to upload BOLOs and other time-sensitive alerts, which are immediately disseminated across the country. You can set an alert to be notified whenever another agency uploads a bulletin, filtering them by agency or other criteria. Also, minutes after issuing such a Bulletin, any officer using CrimeTracer can find it in a search—and similarly, an officer in the field with CrimeTracer can see alerts issued by other agencies in the same way, ultimately improving officer situational awareness and public safety.
An example view of recently uploaded crime bulletins.
Considering a law enforcement data management system for your agency? Reach out to our sales team to see if CrimeTracer makes sense for your organization.
Other Accurint Virtual Crime Center Alternatives
Accurint Virtual Crime Center Alternative # 2: Peregrine
Peregrine positions itself as a “real-time decision and operations management platform.” It provides a way for patrol officers to get immediate contextual information to improve situational awareness. Officers can use their mobile phones to access real-time information from dispatch, analysts, and crime centers. Like AVCC and CrimeTracer, it also provides mapping and graphical representations of data.
In addition to its law enforcement functions, Peregrine provides a platform for coordinating the activities of multiple public safety agencies, including fire departments and event security as well as law enforcement.
A Checklist for Assessing a Law Enforcement Search Engine and Data Management System
- Does the tool increase officer situational awareness and officer safety?
- Does the product promote ease of use, improved information flow, and the democratization of data?
- Does the product empowering officers and investigators to generate immediate tactical leads and expedite investigations while out in the field?
- Does the platform connect to a breadth of data sources to ensure comprehensive, accurate results?
- Does the platform integrate with case management software and other investigative tools?
- Can the platform send and receive time-sensitive alerts and notifications in real time?
Between budget cuts and personnel shortages, police departments across the country are struggling to keep up with rising crime rates. They rely on technology that can act as force multipliers to make their efforts more efficient and more effective.
A law enforcement search engine and data management solution like CrimeTracer empowers officers in the field to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes while maintaining situational awareness and personal safety.