John Quigley, Atlanta

“I took that path, and I ended up playing hockey there and then spending 15 years in the Army.”

It was a decision he made when he was 10-years-old that changed the course of John Quigley’s life. He was living in Massachusetts and had just moved with his family from the north side of Boston to a town on the south side called Norwood. For his 10th birthday, young John’s father asked him if he wanted to learn how to ice skate. He said yes. Skating turned into playing hockey—including on his successful high school team—which turned into an opportunity to play for the United States Military Academy.

“I took that path, and I ended up playing hockey there and then spending 15 years in the Army.”

The Army downsized after the first Gulf War, so Quigley retired from the military at Fort Benning and moved north to Atlanta. It was 1992, and the city was looking to hire 2,000 police officers to patrol the city for the upcoming Summer Olympics. Quigley always had an interest in law enforcement and had once considered becoming an FBI agent. He joined the Atlanta Police Department and has been with them ever since.

“I started out just like all the officers do as a patrol officer and a moved from that into public affairs.”

After spending ten years in public affairs, Quigley’s career path led him to become a sergeant, supervisor, lieutenant, watch commander, and captain. He’s currently part of the Strategy and Special Projects Division, where he’s been for three years.

“One of the areas that I’m most involved in is the coordination of technology acquisition,” he says. “I ended up working with the Atlanta Information Management folks along with our officers and the Police Foundation and try to bring in new technology that can help us for crime fighting and to be more efficient in our operations.”

officer quigley

Georgia Tech is developing some of the technology that the Atlanta Police Department is exploring. They worked with Georgia Tech Assistant Professor Yao Xie to test an algorithm that finds connections between crime incidents. It examines data captured by 911 operators and by police officers at the scene of a crime to find patterns between cases, which could help solve serial crimes. Xie received financial support for her research from the Atlanta Police Foundation.

“This is the ideal partnership of the academic institution at Georgia Tech, the Police Foundation, and the Atlanta Police Department, that’s really brought about success here. A great project with different agencies coming together to help each other.”

Quigley also has a personal connection to Georgia Tech—his twin sons both attended the Institute.

APD and Georgia Tech are now working together to analyze police beat zones to improve 911 response times and optimize zone staffing.


Georgia Tech Connection

 Yao Xie is an Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Early Career Professor and Assistant Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. Her research interests are in sequential statistical methods, statistical signal processing, big data analysis, compressed sensing, optimization, and has been involved in applications to wireless communications, sensor networks, medical and astronomical imaging.



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