CSPD gets a leg up from data analysis

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As we reported about a month ago in this story, ("Gunned down," April 9, 2014), Colorado Springs Police Department has turned to data analysis as a tool to help identify hot spots for crime.
Commander Wilson: Taking a cue from data. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Commander Wilson: Taking a cue from data.
When we reported on the crime-ridden Sand Creek division, police were getting ready to adopt the Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traff Safety (DDACTS). On Monday, the department released a news release announcing where it will direct extra enforcement under the new program.

For Sand Creek, that area covers just under 2 square miles and is located in the Platte Avenue and Murray Boulevard area. The focus will be on an area roughly bound by Platte on the north, Wooten Road and the Sand Creek stream bed on the east, Fountain Boulevard. on the south and Academy Boulevard on the west.

As Commander Kirk Wilson told us last month, DDACTS was applied in a pilot program in the area of Platte and Murray and also downtown last year, resulting in a lower number of calls in those areas. "It's not based on hunches," he told us. "It's based on data we actually have."

Here's more on the city's new program from the CSPD news release:
“Fighting crime with new intelligent tools” is how Colorado Springs Police Department Commander Kirk Wilson defined DDACTS. “This program shifts from persons to locations, relying on technology to pin point the location of the greatest problems. Officers can then address the activity”.

In July of 2013, Colorado Springs Police Department participated in training on Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). This training was provided by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. DDACTS integrates location based crime and traffic data to assist law enforcement by effectively and efficiently deploying resources. By concentrating limited CSPD resources in DDACTS areas, CSPD anticipates a reduction in criminal activity and traffic accidents.

The DDACTS model uses crime analysis and Geo mapping to identify locations in which to focus highly visible traffic enforcement. The purpose of these focused traffic enforcement deployments is to impact specific criminal activity and traffic accidents in that area.

The Colorado Springs Police Department has four patrol divisions and DDACTS locations have been identified within each division for focused traffic enforcement. Officers are being directed into these areas to positively impact specific criminal and traffic related issues. The Strategic Information Center (STIC) researched the past 12 months of data for four selected crime types: Burglary of Motor Vehicle (BMV), Burglary of a dwelling or business, Motor Vehicle Theft and Robbery. In addition, the past 12 months of traffic accident data for Colorado Springs was also researched. These two sets of data were then used to select the DDACTS areas in which CSPD officers would focus increased traffic enforcement. Below are the locations identified based upon this research:

Falcon Division (northwest): Garden of Gods and I-25 area. This enforcement area is approximately .77 square miles in size and is roughly bordered by Elkton Drive on the north, Mark Dabling Boulevard on the east, the Holland Park neighborhood on the south, and Centennial Boulevard on the west.

Stetson Hills Division (northeast): Academy Boulevard corridor and the Village Seven neighborhood. This enforcement area is approximately 2.15 square miles and is roughly bordered by Morning Sun Avenue, Montebello Drive, and Pearl Drive on the north, Oro Blanco Drive on the east, Carefree Circle South on the south, and Palmer Park Boulevard on the west.

Gold Hill Division (southwest): South Nevada Avenue and the Southgate area. This enforcement area is approximately .48 square miles and is roughly bordered by Dorchester Park on the north, Wahsatch Avenue and Southgate Road on the east, Lake Avenue on the south, and Tejon Street on the west.

Sand Creek Division (southeast): Platte Avenue and Murray Boulevard area. The area is 1.87sq/mi and is roughly bound by Platte Av. on the north, Wooten Rd. and the Sand Creek stream bed on the east, Fountain Bl. on the south, and Academy Bl. on the west.

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