Fighting Violent Crime with RTM & Support from Federal Grants

Leaders from the Major City Chiefs Association (MCCA) wrote a treatise in 2018 on the demands, tactics, and technologies that can and should be used to address violent crime. This Violent Crime Reduction Operations Guide remains useful and relevant today.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) routinely issue grants that serve as valuable tools and means by which organizations across the United States can realize the vision and mission of the MCCA Operations Guide.  For example, an FY24 grant solicitation is currently available to cities, counties, and tribal governments. Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) and its application through risk-based policing and data-informed community engagement can be a key tool for that and similar programs. Together, they can help you to uplift communities through co-produced crime prevention and public safety while adhering to the tenets outlined by some of our nation’s top police leaders.  

The MCCA Operations Guide used the term “critical elements” to describe things that should be a part of how we address violent crime. RTM is a critical element.

At its core, RTM is a spatial analysis technique that identifies environmental factors associated with crime settings. Instead of solely focusing on crime data, RTM considers various elements of the physical environment, such as street lighting, buildings, businesses, and land use. By analyzing these qualities of space in relation to crime location patterns, RTM generates risk terrain maps that highlight areas prone to emergent or persistent criminal activity. It diagnoses current hot spots and identifies other vulnerable areas.

RTM insights empower law enforcement agencies and their partners to develop tailored strategies to address crime effectively at the local level.

RTM leans directly in to many of the critical elements identified by MCCA, and helps to make the recommendations actionable.  

RTM’s relationship to analytics, intelligence, and technology is clear. It’s also important to call attention to how RTM and its application through risk-based policing and data-informed community engagement can change environments to manage and reduce crime risks. That is, to make safer spaces!

Leveraging Community Engagement:
One of the key strengths of RTM is its emphasis on community engagement. Unlike traditional top-down approaches to intervention programming, RTM actively invites and values community members into the crime prevention process. By sharing risk terrain maps with local stakeholders and organizations, police agencies empower communities to take ownership of their safety. They provide valuable insights and situational contexts about local crime dynamics, and become invested partners of the prevention measures implemented. This bottom-up approach fosters trust and cooperation, ultimately leading to more sustainable crime reduction efforts and better outcomes.

Building Partnerships for Impact:
RTM recognizes the importance of partnerships in addressing crime comprehensively. Beyond traditional law enforcement agencies, RTM encourages collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including local businesses, non-profit organizations, and various government agencies. These partnerships bring diverse expertise and resources to the table, allowing for a more holistic approach to crime prevention. By coordinating resources in data-informed ways, stakeholders can leverage their respective strengths to tackle underlying issues contributing to crime, such as poverty, unemployment, and substance abuse. They can each do what they do best at the places needing them most!

Risk Terrain Modeling represents a paradigm shift in crime prevention, moving away from traditional person-focused reactive approaches towards proactive, place-based and community-centered strategies. By leveraging the modern RTM analytic technology, police agencies identify and address the root causes of crime to create safer and more resilient communities.

Through community engagement and partnerships, RTM not only helps to reduce crime, but also fosters trust, cooperation, and empowerment among residents and their local leaders. As we continue to embrace innovative solutions in the fight against crime, RTM stands out as a beacon for building safer and more vibrant neighborhoods.

Learn more about RTM, RBP, and DICE™ by contacting us now.

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