Metro Cities Turn To Data Driven Approach To Fight Crime
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma - Police departments in the metro have a new way to fight crime - through data. This real-time information shows officers crime hot spots, enabling them to respond with more urgency.
"It kind of lets us forecast crime much like a weatherman does," said Capt. Mark Tepley with the Midwest City Police Department.
Teply spends more time on his computer these days, after the department started using DDACTS, a program that gives them a data driven approach to fighting crime. The software allows him and other officers to map and predict crime in Midwest City.
"It actually helps us look at crimes being committed every day," Tepley said.
Instead of waiting until the end of the month to look over police reports, officers can pinpoint what crimes are happening and where - even what time of day, before they even hit the streets.
Sgt. Patrick Aday starts his 10-hour shift in one of those crime hot spots mapped out for him during roll call.
"Some of the stuff can be concentrated in times when we're not working but we'll still go to those areas," Aday said. "Visibility helps a lot just seeing the police presence, helps deter crime."
The mapping system also allows officers to input -- real time -- crimes being committed.
"The officers can look at that information as it's occurring," Tepley said.
Tepley says since they started the program about a year and a half ago, they already have seen a 25 percent reduction in crime.
"We'd love to have hundreds of officers out there, that's just not possible," he said. "It allows us to take the resources that we have and better manage them."
Other metro cities using this data approach to crime fighting include Norman and Oklahoma City.