CALDWELL -- On Wednesday, the Caldwell Police Department put a new data-mapping system in place meant to help officers identify high-crime areas, better respond to those areas, and hopefully prevent more crime.
Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood says the system -- called the Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (D-DACTS) -- uses information the department already collects to help officers respond to areas of higher crime.
After more than 20 years on the force, Allgood says he's never used technology like this.
"By looking at the data -- where our traffic problems are the most, and where our crime problems are the most, and combining those -- it helps us refine an area where we're generating most of our calls," Allgood told KTVB.
HOW D-DACTS WORKS
Allgood says police can use D-DACTS to create a computer-generated map of recent traffic incidents and recent crimes to show where crimes are happening, and where to better assign officers.
Chief Chris Allgood
On Wednesday, Allgood told KTVB that one hotspot on his map pointed to South 10th Avenue, between Everett Street and Marble Front Road. A KTVB crew checked out the area on Wednesday, and saw three separate vehicles being pulled over.
South 10th Avenue
Allgood says the information pointing to that area as "high crime," wasn't what the department expected.
"It was very surprising, yes," Allgood said. "Had I guessed before we did this, I wouldn't have realized that this was our hot spot," he added.
The Chief hopes more scenarios like the one above will help the department use its officers more effectively.
"I think overall, it's going to have a whole effect on the whole city," Allgood said. "I believe over time we will see these calls and crimes continue to go down in the whole city because we're focusing on the areas of most importance."
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Chief Allgood says the mapping does not cost any extra money. It uses the technology and information the department already has.