The Norman Transcript

Editorials

August 1, 2013

Technology can cutcrime and crashes

NORMAN — Norman is not immune from crime. In 2012, nearly 18,000 offenses were reported to the police department, giving us a crime rate of 37.3 per 1000 population. Another 1,027 offenses were attributed to juveniles.

High-crime areas and intersections with multiple accidents are getting the attention of police. Norman officers are now using computer-generated data to guide where they concentrate their limited resources.

The goal of Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) is to reduce crime and improve traffic safety. It’s a throwback to the early days of community policing where officers knew where the bad guys were and hung around there.

Nowadays, that information is stored on computers and precision mapped with officers accessing the information in their patrol-car computers. That information is also shared with other local law enforcement agencies.

The information has been used to solve some crimes, too. The Transcript’s Jessica Bruha reports officers pinpointed where wheels were being stolen each night and within a week had made an arrest. In areas where there are many accidents, a heightened police presence leads to fewer crashes.

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