Dallas Crime Campaign to Use Specialized Officers

Department used predictive model to identify dangerous neighborhoods

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas police are launching an aggressive crime initiative using a scientific model to identify the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. (Published Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011)

    Dallas police are launching an aggressive crime initiative using a scientific model to identify the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.

    The department will place specialized officers in the city's five most troubled neighborhoods for three weeks starting Wednesday as part of Operation Spring Cleaning.

    Dallas Crime Initiative Targets Five Neighborhoods

    [DFW] Dallas Crime Initiative Targets Five Neighborhoods
    Dallas police are launching an aggressive crime initiative using a scientific model to identify the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. (Published Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011)

    Past policing efforts relied on patrol officers, but this campaign calls on DPD's special forces, including the gang unit, vice, SWAT, canine, mounted officers and narcotics.

    Police used a new predictive model called GEOFORCE to identify neighborhoods with high levels of gang and drug activity.

    "It's intended to be used as a model that will predict crime, predict where we believe crime will occur," Assistant Chief Thomas Lawrence said. "We are the point in the department where we're trying to get ahead of the crime instead of chase it."

    "Our model uses various indicators to identify areas that may be vulnerable to victimization, disorder and criminal activity," Deputy Chief Andy Acord said.

    Using the model, Dallas police chose five neighborhoods: Beacon Street and Columbia Avenue, Bruton Road and Masters Drive, Hatcher Street and Scyene Road, Sunnyvale Street and Custer Drive, and Polk and 12th streets.

    "We also looked at things like certain calls, drug activity, arrests, drug house calls, gang-related activities in those areas, as well as the level of community engagement that was occurring in those areas," Lawrence said.

    Police said they hope to get the community more engaged in crime-fighting.

    Diana Sigmund, a Dallas schoolteacher who lives near Hatcher Street and Scyene Road, said she is afraid to walk down her street after dark. She said her neighborhood has break-ins and prostitution.

    Neighbor Violet Reed said she is also afraid to go out at night.

    “I’m afraid of the youngsters walking the street. I don’t know who they are,” said Reed, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years.

    Dallas' police chief believes the heightened visibility will have an immediate impact on crime and disorder in the targeted neighborhoods. Police say their goal is to get people in the areas walking their dogs again.

    “If it works, I probably will start walking the neighborhood again,” Reed said.

    If Operation Spring Cleaning is successful, the department launch two or three similar operations throughout the year.

    NBC DFW's Susy Solis contributed to this report.