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Police Using Data To Identify Problem Areas

The Frederick City Police Department is implementing data-driven policing to identify crime hot spots.
FREDERICK, Md. - Roberto Alvarez has managed a Frederick, Maryland cell phone store in the Hillcrest area for the last three years and says he's seen his fair share of crimes while on the clock.

"Hillcrest after nine is probably not safe. Working here you get to talk with people, and I've had plenty of customers tell me they've been mugged you know, beaten up just to steal their cell phones," said Alvarez.

Cell phone thefts arent the only crimes taking place. Frederick City Police Department reports indicate between December 2013 and January 2014 an increase in vehicle thefts on the West Side of Frederick. Incidents like this now will be combated more aggressively by FDP as a result of a new data-driven initiative they'll use to conduct saturation patrols.

"We analyze that data, determine areas that are hot spots and increase the patrols with specific areas," said Cpl. Shatlock, with the Frederick City Police Department.

Shatlock says that in the three day span in which the intiative was launched, the police department has already made eight criminal arrests, six motor vehicle arrests and one warrant arrest, but it's not just about putting criminals behind bars.

"The other part is getting more intelligence to actually find out who is in those areas, so we're able to figure out who is in that area and it gives us an idea of the suspects," said Shatlock.

The saturation patrol initiative is made up of about four officers and will operate for two weeks, although the FDP says the patrol unit will operate on and off in the future.

"More police patrol is probably very needed, and it feels good," said Alvarez.

During this two week period, the unit will conduct uniformed patrols in the identified areas in addition to daily operations.
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