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CSE spinout's software to serve police nationwide

Starting in April, 10,000 police departments will have access to a new mobile software tool for tracking crime in their communities, thanks to technology developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Red Brain Law Enforcement Services LLC, a UNL spinout, will release CrimeView NEARme to allow police officers to access location-based crime data.

Over the past six months, 75 Lincoln Police Department officers piloted the app and found it to be what Lincoln Public Safety Director Tom Casady calls, “a groundbreaking new technology for police officers.” He explained that “there’s nothing else like it available.”

Realizing NEARme’s commercial potential, the development team created Red Brain Law Enforcement Services to further develop and market the software. They worked with NUtech Ventures, the nonprofit responsible for building partnerships between the University and the private sector, to start the company and license the software.

“This is a perfect example of how University researchers, when teamed with experts who know the needs of end users, can create value in a market,” said David Conrad, executive director of NUtech Ventures.

Red Brain Law Enforcement Services partnered with The Omega Group, developers of a variety of crime analysis products, to widely release the software application.

“Working with The Omega Group provides us a fantastic opportunity to reach a much broader market,” said Red Brain President Ian Cottingham, a UNL graduate who leads the Computing Innovation Group with UNL's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “Leveraging their existing distribution channels allows us to focus on what we are passionate about, which building cutting-edge software. Omega gets to add a transformative product to their line up, and we reach more officers. It’s a huge win for both companies.”

The idea for NEARme, formerly called Proactive Police Patrol Information, or P3i, came from Casady. Then the Chief of the Lincoln Police Department, Casady reasoned that if he could find a restaurant in the area on his phone, then officers could view location-based crime data while in the field.

Below, LPD Officer Mary Lingelbach uses CrimeView NEARme technology developed by UNL computer engineers.

Mobile software in use with Lincoln Police Dept. officerLincoln Police Dept. officer using mobile software