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Purdue Rolls Out Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit

Purdue University's Homeland Security Center of Excellence has produced a new analytics tool for first responders and law enforcement, the Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit (VALET).

VALET is designed to help law enforcement monitor, visualize, and analyze data about criminal activities, emergency management, disasters, and traffic, with the aim of providing improving the allocation of resources in emergency situations and improving tactical awareness and strategic planning. The software can even forecasts future "criminal, traffic and civil incident levels within a 95 percent confidence interval" based on "temporal prediction algorithms."

"One of my sayings is, 'We need to work smarter, not harder,' and the VALET toolkit allows us to pull data so we are in a better position to put officers in the right place at the right time when a situation arises," said John K. Cox, Purdue University chief of police, in a prepared statement. "Providing this type of situational awareness gives us the higher level of assessment so we can better cover high-crime areas or give officers context of what is happening so they know what they are walking into when on patrol or responding to a call."

The software is designed to run on most computers and includes a companion app, iVALET, for iOS devices. Trial versions are available for law enforcement agencies through Purdue's Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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