Cincinnati Future had the opportunity to speak with CEO and co-founder Todd Levy about the company’s origins and the tech behind it.
How did Peel9 come to be?
Levy: I was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Venture Lab. The whole idea behind the Venture Lab is to help monetize the intellectual property that comes out of the university. They offer 8-week cohorts with about 10-12 companies at a time in which people can apply if they’re a student, faculty or alum. EIRs get to see a lot of ideas and whether they have traction or not.
In one of the cohorts, I met a team out of the School of Criminal Justice, which, by the way, is the number one the number one criminal justice department in the country. Tim Sabransky and Daniel Gerard, former Cincinnati police captains, had partnered with Murat Ozer, an assistant professor of IT at UC to create a record management system for law enforcement. Murat is also a former counter-terrorism expert from the Turkish National Police.
The software aggregates and condenses the data points of the criminal justice system into actionable data sources. The system can actually be used in police cars. The “special sauce” is the analytics that come out of that. They’re able to place people and locations and vehicles together where an infraction has occurred and that’s how they help solve crime. In essence, it connects the dots. This lets us get more officers on the street policing, instead of having to go back to the station to do laborious record-keeping.
If there is a statewide drug task force, the data can be shared to help solve the crimes. We also collect documentation on the use of force and racial profiling, which can be used to monitor officer behavior.
Who is using the software at this point?
Levy: Right now we’re focusing on the greater Cincinnati area. We have 12 agencies, and about 200 officers, using it now. We have a couple of very large police or larger suburban police departments are coming online this month.
We have to ask, where does the name Peel9 come from?
Levy: Sir Robert Peel was known as the father of modern policing whose core principles included that the goal is to prevent crime, not catch criminals and that the key to preventing crime is to earn public support by using force only as a last resort.
What were the advantages of launching the company in Cincinnati?
Levy: One was that we got to partner with the number one school of criminal justice in the country at UC. And having UC as a launching pad for this was great. I didn’t have to go out and raise the money. Also, Tim Sabransky and Daniel Gerard are known as experts in their field. They do a lot of lecturing across the country.