Many police departments struggle to transition out of a purely response-driven mode of operation, especially in today’s climate where resource constraints can make proactive policing seem elusive. You may be challenged to find, hire, and retain the officers you need to support your community – thus the idea of engaging in preemptive problem-oriented programming seems out of reach, or underutilized.
We often start discussions about crime analysis with “In a perfect world,” but we don’t operate in one. We are limited to assessing and engaging with the realities of the dynamic environments we operate within. Here, Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) serves as a powerful tool for prioritizing the most vulnerable places in your community, and identifying the most appropriate resources for addressing them. RTM isn’t about diverting officers from essential duties. It’s about empowering them to do what they do best at the places needing them most, while sharing the burden for public safety with other local professionals. Thereby reducing demand for everyone, and routinely yielding better outcomes that meet local needs and expectations.
Historical crime patterns and complaints are a valuable set of data in RTM models. Don’t just look at these through a single lens – use RTM technology as a kaleidoscope to see how issues like the potential harm of those incidents, the contextual value of feedback you get from your public, and where and why problems emerge and persist where they do (and don’t). Use RTM to analyze many types of risks or concerns that your whole city tackles.Risk Terrain Modeling can help your community go beyond chasing last month’s trends to finding the settings in your city – and the features that exist there – that will deliver the highest return on your investment. Every city service that contributes to the solution reduces pressure on first responders. Every citizen or community group that takes ownership within their neighborhood becomes part of your team. And, every officer that knows the “why” behind the “where” and “what” they’re asked to do becomes more engaged and empowered to make a meaningful impact. They’re more invested in the outcomes.The most precious thing any of us have is our time. By taking a comprehensive, whole-system approach to community well-being, you start getting back those seconds, minutes and hours of the day. When you work in public health and public safety, mere seconds save lives.