Data Mapping Helps Curb Crime

February 15, 2021 by Devin Culham

Data Mapping Helps Curb Crime

When it comes to data, many public safety agencies are merely scratching the surface of data’s full capabilities.

Although more and more agencies are becoming aware of the benefits of data-driven insights to public safety, it can be challenging to synthesize large amount of information into real, actionable policies.

For Grand Junction Police Department in Colorado, one effective method for analyzing information is through a feature called data analysis mapping (DAM).

DAM allows public safety agencies to visually map incidents throughout the community, enabling officers and decision-makers to create strategies to tackle specific or reoccurring incidents.

“A few years ago, there was a group of criminals moving from beat to beat,” shared Kelly Clingman, evidence technician of Grand Junction police department. “We could tell by mapping the calls for service that theft was increasing.”

By analyzing the pattern and increasing frequency of calls in a particular area of the agency’s jurisdiction, command staff at the agency increased patrols in highly targeted locales.

“As an agency, we were able to pinpoint where that kind of activity was occurring and were able to prevent some loss because of the mapping technology,” explained Clingman.

According to Clingman, the biggest breakthroughs in operational efficiencies are often deceptively simple.

“I think the little things that the software offers can often be overlooked because they’re so simple,” said Clingman. “It's those little things like that that make our job so much easier.”

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