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New Study Changes the Way Police Patrol

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

For three months, officers in downtown Sacramento and east Sacramento tried something new.  Sergeant Renee Mitchell is a crime analyst with the department.  She says all officers typically assigned to those areas converged on so-called "hot spots" for 12-to-16-minute periods.

MITCHELL: "It could be talking to business owners, talking to citizens, finding out what's going on in the area.   Or it could be traffic stops, subject stops etcetera.  But, getting the idea out into that community that there's a cop around the corner so that if you are a criminal you might not want to commit crime in that area."

The study compared calls for service for those neighborhoods to neighborhoods under the old patrol model.  Calls for service in the test areas were substantially lower…so low in fact that the department is now changing all of its patrols to the high visibility policing model.  The hard data should be released within the next couple of months by George Mason University, which collaborated on the study.

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