As part of its focus to reduce property crimes and collisions in the City of Everett, the Police Department today announced its adoption of a nationally recognized crime-fighting model called Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS).
DDACTS is a police operational model that is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice. It uses historical crime and collision data to identify hot spots within a community and then directs police resources into those areas during specific times of the day. The Everett Police Department will rely upon timely crime analysis to identify these locations and then officers will conduct high visibility traffic enforcement and proactive contacts in the areas identified. The department will closely monitor officer’s activity as well as crime trends and make adjustments as necessary.
Excited with the plan to address property crimes in the community, Chief Kathy Atwood says, “We want to focus our resources where they are needed. DDACTS is a forward thinking approach for law enforcement to utilize and overlap actual crime and traffic data to direct our officers where they are most needed.” Chief Atwood stresses that DDACTS relies on prompt collection and analysis of crime and crash data with allowances for flexibility to change strategic decisions and focus locations.
The recently completed Everett Police Department Strategic Plan emphasizes enhancing quality of life for Everett citizens as well as reducing crime throughout the city. The plan also calls for the department to identify a successful intelligence led or data driven policing model. Operations Deputy Chief Dan Templeman states, “DDACTS is one of many successful policing models out there, and we truly believe that our community will benefit from our use of crime and collision data to deploy our valuable police resources. Ultimately, our goal is to reduce crime and enhance quality of life in Everett.”
Community support and understanding of the program is critical to its overall success. DDACTS was recently presented to the Everett Council of Neighborhoods as an important element of the department’s strategic plan. Representatives from the Council of Neighborhoods expressed their support of the new policing model. Pinehurst/Beverly Park Neighborhood representative Gary James stated, “As opposed to just throwing darts at the problem and seeing what sticks, I think this is a good idea for the police department to concentrate their efforts on certain areas that have a tendency to see more crime.” Delta Neighborhood representative, Terri Amburgy concurred, adding, “I think it’s awesome. It will help the department focus their resources on high crime areas.”
DDACTS has proven to be a successful operational model for other cities across the country. In Baltimore County Maryland, officials saw a decrease in burglary, robbery, vehicle theft and traffic collisions, while their traffic contacts increased by 49 percent. In the Metro-Nashville Police Department, both fatal car collisions and Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Part 1 crimes decreased each year between 2003 and 2008. Everett Police hope to see similar results. The desired outcome of DDACTS is the reduction of crime and vehicle crashes. Deputy Chief Templeman concludes, “Not only do we hope to reduce traffic collisions in the City of Everett, but we also clearly recognize that most criminals travel in motor vehicles to commit their crimes. By focusing our efforts on high visibility traffic enforcement and proactive contacts in high crime and crash areas, we believe that we will see an overall reduction in our crime rate.”
The Everett Police Department has already identified their first hot spots in the city and will begin deploying additional resources into those areas immediately. The department intends to report back regularly to officers on the effectiveness of the program and continually evaluate the program to determine if any adjustments need to be made.