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Metropolitan Toronto Police
Toronto, Ontario

Year: 1997
Status: Laureate
Category: Government & Non-Profit Organizations
Nominating Company: Oracle Corporation

A strategic framework expedites the development of an integrated information environment and inter-operable systems, reducing costs and increasing flexibility.
The Metropolitan Toronto Police is the 4th largest municipal police
service in North America, servicing a population of approximately 3
million people in the Metropolitan area and 7 million in the surrounding

In 1991, the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service developed several
strategic business initiatives that are driving fundamental and
significant changes to the current policing environment. These
initiatives, based on community policing, have been defined and
documented in the Plan called the ‘Beyond 2000’ strategy. Beyond 2000
focuses on improving the delivery of policing services to the community
and making Toronto an even safer and better place for people to live and
work. The growing need for complete, accurate and timely enterprise-wide
information could not be serviced with MTP’s then existing, inadequate
information systems.

In 1992 the Computing & Telecommunications unit developed the METROPOLIS
Strategy as an integral part of Beyond 2000, to restructure and align an
inflexible and outdated IT infrastructure into one which provides an
"enabling" environment to address and facilitate these new initiatives.
METROPOLIS has delivered all the major tools and the infrastructure for
the Plan to work.

METROPOLIS - The Concept

The METROpolitan Toronto POLice Information System (METROPOLIS) is the
strategic framework within which Metropolitan Toronto Police has
undertaken to improve the efficiency, flexibility, and effectiveness of
its business systems. This framework provides a common set of services
within an integrated information environment that facilitates the
building of inter-operable systems in support of the Service’s Beyond
2000 strategy.

The METROPOLIS strategy was developed with the vision of providing an
efficient, effective, flexible and economical information technology
environment for the Metropolitan Toronto Police. One of the underlying
principles of METROPOLIS is to provide reliable, accurate and meaningful
information wherever it is needed, whenever it is needed.

One of the keys to providing accurate reliable information is to capture
data once, quickly and as close to the source as possible. In many
cases, this means the entry of data by the officers in the field at the
scene of an incident. Once this data has been captured and verified, it
is immediately accessible throughout the Service. The ability to capture
data once and feed all related databanks, has eliminated much of the
duplicity and effort.

The idea was not to work harder but to work smarter and deliver more
value-added services to the community through increased police presence
and improved Management Information systems. These efficiencies have
balanced and made up for the large staff reductions experienced over the
past 5 years.

METROPOLIS - Impact on Society and Police Service

Society and Community

Improved capability for crime reduction and Neighbourhood Policing
Increased availability of officers and cars for emergencies Response
time to 911 emergency calls reduced Level of service maintained after a
significant personnel reduction Ability to do suspect lineups on
workstations round the clock - 365 days per year Reduction in public
wait time and travel inconvenience Issuing Public Alerts with person
images to the community Efficient and timely processing of vehicle
accident incidents minimizes trauma for the public involved, results in
faster on the spot claims settlements and reduces accident disputes

Police Service

66 New Application Systems delivered to the Service $92 million
cumulative savings over 4 years, 6 years ahead in benefits realisation
Global access to information for all officers enhances their service to
the public and safety for themselves Instant availability of information
on lost and stolen property on National database Ability to identify
Alzheimer patients, heart attack prone victims, dangerous addresses etc.
immediately following or during the receipt of a 911 call Workstations
and training for all personnel
The net benefits of the strategy were originally projected at over $90
million in operating savings over a period of 10 years. The savings have
proven to be far greater - $92 Million at the end of 1996. The following
are some of the major systems implemented and their benefits: SYSTEM
BENEFIT DESCRIPTION Computer Aided Dispatch System(CAD) Provides an
efficient and accurate emergency response function, fully integrated
with radio and geographical mapping, for Metropolitan Toronto, that
ensures officer availability and quick location of resources for
dispatching. CAD is an integral part of Toronto’s 911 Emergency Response
System. Special Address System Integrated with CAD System to provide
particulars to officers relative to addresses such as presence of
firearms, explosives or persons with criminal backgrounds. The address
may also have a history of other activity such as wandering patients,
domestic disputes or drug activity. This information is invaluable to
front-line officers to enhance the safety of both the public and the
officers. Alternate Response System An innovative process and
application system to provide field personnel, across the city, access
to the Computer Aided Dispatch System. This gives them the ability to
process low priority calls. Police officers are able to schedule
servicing these calls at the citizen’s convenience providing the
required attention and care. This results in additional officers and
cars available for true emergency calls thus better servicing the
public. Computer-Aided Scheduling of Courts (CASC) Provide officer
available dates for non-criminal Court attendance. Major enhancements to
this system resulted in a 30% reduction in the number of court
appearances by officers. This in turn resulted in more officer
availability for normal delivery of police services. In addition,
millions of dollars were saved on court overtime costs. Repository of
Integrated Computer Images (RICI) Provides advanced digital imaging
functions for capture, storage and retrieval of suspect photographs
(Mugshots). and ID attributes. Saves time and money in the processing of
photographs and provides better customer service to the public for
witness viewing of photo line-ups. The RICI System also allows
investigators to identify potential suspects based on physical
characteristics from a database containing in excess of 350,000 images.
Office Tools and E-mail Increases officer availability by reducing the
time required to write reports or fill-out forms on typewriters.
Facilitates communications between different units. Utilization of form
management systems has eliminated the need for purchasing and stocking
of organization forms. Additionally, completed forms can be
electronically filed or mailed resulting in instant deliveries and
reduction of storage space. Office automation is responsible for
thousands of hours of productivity improvements throughout the
organization. Criminals Information Processing System (CIPS) This system
uses leading edge technology to collect data on offenders, offences,
victims, complainants, evidence, record statements of police and
civilian witnesses. It is also used to collect accused details, victim
and complainant details, charge and synopsis information, police and
civilian witness details and statements, property evidence. CIPS is used
to prepare the required legal documents to be sent to Court
(Information, Charge Synopsis, Others). CIPS also performs Case and
Trial Tracking and Prisoner Management. CIPS is expected to realize
thousands of hours of productivity and time savings for officers.
Computer Assisted Reconstruction Enhancement System(CARES) Specialty
program to reconstruct images from skeletal remains to identify victims
of crime. The system also provides an ‘aging’ technique to project what
a missing child or adult might look like today. The process is based on
using existing photos and genetic information plus complex formulas.
This system provides lasting hope for parents and family members that
their loved ones can be found.
Before Client/Server technology was proven, METROPOLIS took bold steps
to transfer the system environment by setting up the following design
principles and by firmly adhering to them. Open Systems standards
Client/Server Architecture and Technologies Advanced Development
Techniques and Tools International Standards Based Data Entered at
Source Information Where and When Needed Security and Integrity of Data
Consistent Access to Systems Force-wide Information System Cost

In order to achieve acceptance from the user community and Senior
Management, and to ensure success, the following implementation
guidelines were developed and stringently followed. Provide Quick
Deliverables —Manageable Project Sizes. Building-Block Approach to
Systems Development —Promote Software Reuse. Realistic View of Open
Systems —Adhere to international standards whenever possible. Leverage
the Use of Existing Systems —Capitalize on strengths of legacy systems.
Business Model is Fundamental —To ensure all integration aspects are
considered. Skills Upgrade a Priority —To ensure optimal use of systems
and tools.

Before systems were developed, a business modelling exercise was
conducted involving extensive participation by all stake-holders. This
included significant input from the community policing units. This
business model became a ‘blueprint’ for re-engineering the way MTP does
business to serve the community.
When the Metropolitan Toronto Police approached other policing agencies
and government institutions in North America, nobody had actually
attempted to develop or implement such a strategy. Other than vague
impressions of what a totally interoperable information system would
resemble, nobody had anything concrete in place as confirmed by Vendors
and Consulting organizations. There were no documented papers available
which clearly described the concept or how to go about it.

What is unique and original is that the Metropolitan Toronto Police were
the first to successfully define, design, construct and implement the
‘idea’. At the time, there were no blueprints describing what the
deliverables for such a project were. There were no standards or
guidelines for design. There were no standards for hardware and network
infrastructures. There were no guidelines and standards for
client/server applications of this magnitude.

This is the first successful and large project undertaking of its kind.
In excess of 40 police agencies from all corners of the world have
visited the Toronto site and many are modelling their systems after

First on the Block Computer Aided Dispatch: (CAD) Developed in close
partnership with the software vendor Intergraph, this fully integrated
client/server based dispatch system is considered the most effective and
advanced in the world. Use of geographic based (GIS) call location and
dispatching with on-line map display showing location of caller, car,
event etc. Radio System: First LAN-based radio dispatch system in the
world developed in partnership with Motorola. Photographic System:
Sophisticated image capture and presentation utilizing object
technology. System flexibility has the capability of matching images to
person attributes. Currently in excess of 350,000 images stored in a
large scale Oracle database. The system utilizes multi-media technology
and live video to capture the images. First installation in Canada of an
IBM SP2, a large scaleable parallel processor Internet Browser
technology applied to mobile work stations in police vehicles Criminal
Information Processing System: State-of-the-Art 3-Tier high performance
architecture Etc.

Performance Measurements

The METROPOLIS strategy is based on the following strategic principles:
Support Community Based Policing Technology is essential for long term
cost effectiveness Several labour intensive processes are wasting police
resources thus not making them available for community police work 1998
projected savings: 250 officer-years returned to policing activities 120
civilian-years providing better support Successful implementation of
MTP’s Beyond 2000 initiative will require significant redeployment of
resources Resources are diminishing due to social contract legislation
and reduced budgets a.Increases in Revenues (Budget Streamlining)

METROPOLIS is one of the few programs that is helping the Service to
find ways to provide better services, while coping with decreasing
budgets, by enabling massive productivity improvements throughout the

Now in its fourth year of implementation, METROPOLIS has already become
a significant contributor to the Service’s budget control initiatives.
The administrative and operational efficiencies achieved by systems and
office productivity tools have contributed significantly to the
operating budget reductions of approximately $70 million per year over
the past four years.

b.Time or Cost Reduction With the judicious investment in resources to
get the most benefit per dollar spent, the Service has achieved
tremendous efficiency and cost avoidance gains.

The total cumulated benefits realized to the end of 1996 (actual
savings, efficiencies and cost equivalent) is $92 million, well ahead of
the $45 million projected for the same period at the inception of
METROPOLIS in 1992. These benefits have been documented and signed off
by the user community and by Senior Management within the Service.

The time saved has allowed for more training of police officers in a
wide range of subjects such as Race Relations, Safe Handling of
Firearms, Use of Technology etc.

c.Increased Capabilities of Organization With the implementation of
METROPOLIS the Metropolitan Toronto Police is reaping the benefits of
the new technologies and systems: Adapt to organizational and
environmental changes: The information technology infrastructure
delivered with METROPOLIS has allowed the Service to adapt to changing
demands in service delivery. Cope with budgetary restrictions: The
current economic conditions have forced all levels of government to
rationalize costs; the Service has achieved significant reductions in
its operating budget while maintaining service levels due, in part, to
the systems and tools implemented in the METROPOLIS plan. Improved
service to community: The increased need to provide police presence in
key areas of the community could not have been met without increasing
the personnel establishment of the Service. MTP has been able to provide
additional police presence by moving systems and equipment into the
community without the need to increase personnel strength. System
Delivery Productivity: Advanced technical training and the use of modern
tools and methodologies have resulted in development productivity
increases in the systems delivery process. This is evidenced by the
large number of systems and applications delivered since the initiation

METROPOLIS - Future Plans Install intelligent Mobile Workstations in
police vehicles that are capable of accessing all Service systems (1997
- Qtr 2) Major upgrade to Fingerprint System for faster matching and to
allow integration with the other Identification systems (1997 - Qtr 2)
Provide leadership to the policing community by co-chairing a committee
to establish data standards within the Ontario Policing agencies, the
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Federal Policing agency
- RCMP (Current Project) Expand the use of WEB technology within the
Service to deliver more information to officers and to facilitate the
sharing of information with other police agencies and community groups
(1997) Data warehousing for strategic analyses (1997)
Many obstacles had to be overcome during the development and
implementation of METROPOLIS. To prepare a business plan of new
uncharted dimensions which would be accepted by Service Management,
Police Services Board and Metropolitan Toronto Finance Committee and
Council Procurement of the necessary financial commitment from various
political levels to fund a multi-year technology program.
Rejustification of funding on an annual basis from old committees with
new faces - start all over again with justification Ensuring Community
Policy input to deliver the best tools for appropriate benefits to
Community and City residents Extensive training/retraining for clients -
over 7,700 person training days to date. Over 2,200 application specific
user training courses conducted. Establishment of vendor partnerships
never before accomplished Restructuring of Service Organization
Downsizing of Service - Retirement of 300+ Police Officers in 1995
Advanced technical training for computer staff for Data Base, Data
Modelling 4th GL Development Languages On-going rampant industry-driven
technological changes Complexity of the integrated technologies and
vendor groups in Client-Server environment Construction of a integrated
data network infra-structure over a large metropolitan city Constant
demand for new services from organization to compensate for reduced
staffing levels