We’ve read about it in the papers and on the airwaves. The Blue CRUSH (Crime Reduction Utilizing Statistical History) campaign featuring the Real Time Crime Center are delivering results.  A 29% drop in total crime in Memphis from 2006 through 2010. Continued reductions and efficient crime fighting in 2011.

I’ve been intrigued by the results since learning about the programs at presentations by Professor Richard Janikowski (UM) and Director Larry Godwin at a couple of meetings I attended over the last six months.  Wanting to learn more I got myself invited to visit the Real Time Crime Unit and the Weekly TRAC (Tracking for Responsibility, Accountability, and Credibility) Meet. 

Don’t you love the acronyms!

The Real Time Crime Center is impressive.  It’s a high tech data center monitoring crime data as it happens, both video monitoring and data communicated through PDA’s the officers carry and the PCs installed in their vehicles and 911 calls and many other streams of relevant crime data.  Some big time numbers crunching is going on and is being fed in real time to officers on the beat.  With a huge wall of digital montitors, it rivals just about anything you’ve  watched on the TV Show CSI.   

For sure, the speedy flow of data and analysis has a huge impact on crime fighting.  Incredible tools have been created to pinpoint the locations and type of crime and the subsequent efforts of each officer.  Those with the best data have a huge advantage in fighting crime just as the organizations with the best data have a huge advantage over competitors.  I love the technology the MPD has deployed and I applaud the courage demonstrated in the investment in being state of the art and high tech.

But I’m even more impressed with the low tech habits the MPD has put in place that drives the utilization of the technology.  These low tech habits make sure the best data is used in the best possible way, multiplying the competitive advantage the technology creates.

I’m talking about the weekly TRAC Meet.  Each week, at the same time, the commanders of each precinct attend the TRAC meet along with commanders of special units and administrative commanders.  Each commander, in turn, gets up and reports on their results from the previous 7 days and presents their strategy to improve the numbers for the next week.  Data is compared to mean and median data and last year’s corresponding week.  It’s mapped out geographically as well.  Lots of bar and line graphs help commanders track and present trends and then determine strategy for the coming week.

While the tone is congenial and some teasing occurs, each commander is on the spot on front of their peers so peer pressure is at work.  No excuse making.  Just good feedback.  Both affirmations and honest suggestions for improvement.  The dialogue is honest and direct and trusted.  They are all in this together.  Pat Lencioni would be proud of this productive dialogue and the commitment and results it delivers.

What’s going on is the “Synk”-chronization (excuse the pun and self promotion) of strategy and tactics.  Every commander is aware of what is going on in each other’s precinct.  Real time.  Strategy is coordinated.  Teamwork ensues.  The criminals don’t have a real chance. 

A second habit, which I wasn’t able to observe, is the daily meetings at the start of each shift at each precinct.  Driven by data.  The officers on the beat are delivering results. 

This is meeting rhythm at it’s best.  Right out of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish.  No wonder I’m excited.  Good meeting rhythm drives execution that delivers results.  It accelerates the impact of whatever strategy, tactics and technology you employ. 

More on this in future posts.

How effective is your meeting rhythm? Do you even have a meeting rhythm?