By Ryan Severance
The Pueblo Chieftain
PUEBLO, Colo. — If you live in the area of South Prairie and West Northern avenues you may have noticed an increased police presence.
On Feb. 3, Pueblo police began using a data-driven approach to crime and traffic safety, or as they call it, DDACTS.
The goal of the program is to improve community policing, which involves a working relationship between police and the community.
In a nutshell, DDACTS is an operational model that integrates location-based crime and traffic crash data to determine the most effective methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources.
DDACTS is an asset for departments with increasing demands, limited resources and competing demands for services, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Baltimore Police Department is one of the first departments to adopt DDACTS.
Since it began the program, police have seen an 18 percent drop in burglary, 29 percent drop in robbery, 35 percent drop in auto thefts and a 2.5 percent decrease in crashes, according to a report by the NHTSA.
Through the analysis of previous crimes and traffic accidents in Pueblo over the past four years, the Pueblo Police Department decided to deploy the first phase of its DDACTS initiative in the 0.54 square-mile area surrounding the intersection of South Prairie and West Northern.
This half-mile area accounts for roughly 4 percent of citywide crime and 6 percent of citywide traffic accidents, according to information sent out by Sgt. Eric Gonzales with the PPD.
"The goal of the Pueblo Police Department's DDACTS model is to reduce crime, improve traffic safety, reduce the number of serious injury and alcohol-related crashes, and to more efficiently use data analysis to deploy patrol and other police resources," Gonzales said in a statement.
The initiative includes increasing police presence in the half-mile area the program is operating in.
Police said the program is paying dividends so far. As part of DDACTS, police recently received information from a local business about a woman who stole items.
There is no indication as of now whether police plan to expand on the use of the program to other areas.
Copyright 2014 The Pueblo Chieftain
McClatchy-Tribune News Service