GEMS: Geographic Enforcement Management Service for Liquor Control/Public Safety

Period of Performance: 08/01/2009 - 07/31/2011

$285K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Looking Glass Analytics, Inc.
Olympia, WA 98506
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): "Research conducted over the last three decades demonstrates a connection between alcohol availability and public health outcomes (NHTSA 2005)." Approximately 85,000 Americans die each year from alcohol-related causes (Mokdad et al 2004), 32 to 50 percent of homicides are preceded by alcohol consumption by the perpetrator (Spunt et al 1995, Goldstein et al 1992), and almost one in four victims of violent crime report that the perpetrator had been drinking prior to committing the violent act (Greenfield 1998). However, the extant research, while limited, provides evidence that enforcement of alcohol laws will increase compliance with regulations and result in reductions in alcohol-related crime (Wiggers et al. 2004;McKnight and Streff 1994) The Geographic Enforcement Management Service (GEMS), the focus of this Phase II proposal, is a fast, interactive, web application designed to assist those responsible for enforcing the laws that control the sale and service of alcoholic beverages. It provides computer mapping, business analytics, and management reporting using an intuitive map-based interface to guide users to information they need. GEMS is an example of the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model, where a software vendor develops and hosts a web- based application application for use by it s customers over the Internet. SaaS offers organizations software services that are cost-effective, low risk and quick to implement. The Phase II proposal will build on the previous research and experience by using GEMS to identify problem establishments within local jurisdictions and then focusing enforcement efforts on these areas. The implementation and systematic use of GEMS will be evaluated to see if targeted, increased enforcement results in a reduction in alcohol-related calls for service and crimes. More specifically, the proposed Phase II effort seeks to capitalize on the success of Phase I by: a) integrating alcohol-related crime and compliance check data from local police departments, b) conducting short-term evaluation of GEMS impact on state and local law enforcement practices and outcomes, c) creating templates for monitoring long-term impacts in public safety, and d) migrating the software application and to a more flexible, industry platform that will improve the likelihood of further commercial adoption and eliminate current technical constraints on future development. GEMS will be ready for broad commercialization at the end of Phase II, so Phase III will focus on sales and marketing. Enhancing GEMS to integrate local crime data will add significant value to state and local agencies and was strongly advocated by potential customers and industry experts in Phase I. This should also improve affordability by potentially encouraging cost sharing among state and local law enforcement agencies. GEMS Phase II Narrative Research shows that enforcement of alcohol laws will increase compliance with regulations and result in reductions in alcohol-related crime. The Geographic Enforcement Management Service (GEMS) will assist those enforcement efforts by providing mapping, business analytics and management reporting to those responsible for enforcing the laws that control the sale and service of alcoholic beverages. This Phase II proposal will build on the previous research and experience by a) integrating alcohol-related crime and compliance check data from local police departments, b) conducting short-term evaluation of GEMS impact on state and local law enforcement practices and outcomes, c) creating templates for monitoring long-term impacts in public safety, and d) migrating the software application and to a more flexible, industry platform that will improve the likelihood of further commercial adoption and eliminate current technical constraints on future development.