Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) is an operational model that uses the integration of location-based crime and traffic data to establish effective and efficient methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources. The Garner Police Department’s DDACTS initiative was planned to address concerns for public safety within the Town of Garner through the collection and analysis of data to identify crime, crash and traffic related “Hot Spots.” The DDACTS approach is grounded in community based law enforcement which stresses time and place based enforcement is a more efficient use of resources.
DDACTS relies on seven core principles for implementation of this model within an agency. The suggested principles include:
- Community Partnerships- An agency should work with community groups and businesses in an identified DDACTS area to gain support of the model and increase the opportunities to address concerns for public safety.
- Data Collection- Crime, crash and traffic related data are the building blocks of DDACTS.
- Data Analysis- The use of mapping techniques in data analysis aids in the identification of “hotspots” within a community.
- Strategic Operations- Using hotspot analysis will aid an agency in efficient direction of resources.
- Information Sharing and Outreach- Establishing reports on operation progress will keep officers informed and allow management to share accomplishments with town officials and the community.
- Monitoring, Evaluation and Adjustments- Collecting data on a regular basis allows for adjustment to the operation as needed.
- Outcome Measurement- An agency should establish goals during planning to assess effectiveness of the DDACTS approach.
In order to effectively implement DDACTS in the Town of Garner, specific objectives were established to collect essential data. Objectives included identifying the specific type of data that must be collected, identifying the data sources, developing a method for quality data control, developing consistent data collection procedures, and determining how and when data would be collected and reported.
The goals of GPD’s DDACTS model are to reduce crime, increase traffic safety, reduce the number of serious injury and alcohol related crashes and to more efficiently use data analysis to deploy patrol and police resources.
Through the analysis of previous crimes and crashes in the Town, the department has decided to deploy the first phase of our DDACTS initiative in the Fayetteville Road corridor, between the US 401 split and Purser Drive, and the US 70 Highway corridor, between the US 401 split and Timber Drive. This area accounts for over 24% of all crimes reported and over 35% of all reported traffic crashes in the Town of Garner.