Toronto Police officer wins OACP technology award

When an international student was abducted from an underground parking garage in Markham in March 2019, York Regional Police asked the Toronto Police Service to help identify one of the suspects.

Within a few minutes, an administrative assistant hired just two months earlier was able to utilize the Service’s Bail Compliance Dashboard (BCD) to identify the suspect who is still on the loose.

The BCD application design was led by Det. Const. Shaun Hildebrand who is the recipient of the 2020 Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) Innovation Information Technology Award.

“I am truly humbled to receive this honour,” said the Service’s Analytics & Innovation Unit Innovation Lead. “It’s significant because of the direction in which the Service is moving in terms of modernization and really taking a proactive approach that’s data driven. This definitively exemplifies how we can visualize the data and use it. This dashboard allows us to do better offender management across the Service.”

The BCD is an application that provides frontline officers and investigators with real time situational awareness and increased officer safety, thus enabling them to make data driven decisions. It also assists officers in effective and objective resource allocation and ultimately increasing public safety.

Hildebrand was brought in to manage the project to ensure the needs of uniformed officers were at the forefront.

He said the initial focus was on offenders with firearms and gang-related charges – strategic priorities for the Service.

“We did initial research and planned an agile project, designed to get more information in the hands of our front line members.” Hildebrand advised.

Ian Williams, the head of the Service’s Analytics & Innovation Unit, nominated Hildebrand for the award.

“Shaun took an exceptional leadership role supporting an important enforcement need for the Service,” he said. “He was able to leverage his policing experience and combine that with the skills of a technical team to actually build a useful frontline application.

“The team did this work in a very short period of time, using an agile approach that allowed the Service to benefit very early on from officer feedback and evolving the app quickly to improve it continuously. Shaun’s role was critical because of his network and leadership in actually ensuring that every aspect of the application was designed for front-line members.”

Magnet Forensics sponsors the OACP Innovation Information Technology Award.

“Innovative approaches to challenges facing police agencies today coupled with the vision and dedication of officers like Det. Const. Hildebrand are delivering meaningful solutions that ultimately lead to safer communities,” said Magnet Forensics Chief Executive Officer Adam Belsher.

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