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SW Idaho police in Nampa trying data system

Officer Aaron Schreiber tells the Idaho Press-Tribune in a story on Wednesday that information from the Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety program goes back about five years.

The Associated Press

5/15/2014

NAMPA, Idaho — Nampa police in southwest Idaho are trying again this year to use a data system to track crime and traffic problem areas so they can put more officers in those problem areas at key times.

Officer Aaron Schreiber tells the Idaho Press-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gnCbOl) in a story on Wednesday that information from the Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety program goes back about five years. He said the information can reveal trends in the community.

"Something's going to emerge in a particular area where it's consistently a problem, where it's always there, no matter what," he said. "If you start to look at it over a period of time, it starts to coalesce into this gel of, 'Here's where our problems are.'"

Schreiber said officers will use the information to increase their presence in problem areas and make more contact with motorists and pedestrians. Sometimes the goal is just to say hello.

The program isn't intended to result in more tickets, Schreiber said, but to increase law enforcement visibility. Officials hope that will lead to safer driving and reduced crime in areas identified by the data system as being above normal.

The agency made an effort to use the system in 2012 but didn't get good results, Schreiber said. He said department leaders expect more training and better analysis of the information to give better results this year.

"The idea was good. The implementation and follow-up were less than needed to keep the program rolling," Schreiber said about the 2012 attempt. "They said, 'Go out in this area, do all this stuff,' but they never told guys why, they never had a clear goal, and there was no feedback on whether or not the officers were accomplishing anything in particular."

The agency plans to rely more on officers in the field to make the system work this time.

"We asked them for the feedback to help us build that program," Schreiber said. "We asked them, 'What would make it work for you guys? What would keep you interested?' And in doing so, we got a lot of really good ideas."

Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, http://www.idahopress.com

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JB Hunt