Feb 9, 2011 7:42 PM by Carolyn Cerda
Twenty Acadiana law enforcement agencies are learning all about a new program, aimed at attacking quality of life issues through traffic and crime data. They're gathering at the Lafayette Police Department for a three day training seminar on "Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety," or "D-DACTS."
With the new program, officers will be able to outline "hotspots," where there's both a high volume of traffic incidents and high crime rates.
"it was surprising to us to see that a lot of the areas where we have traffic issues also have crime," said Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft.
These "hotspot" areas will see a greater police presence and stricter law enforcement.
Lt. Stephen Welsh, a Massachusetts State Police officer helping with the training says, "It's focusing department resources, which are vital in these days, in the areas at the time and where the crime is occurring. And, simultaneously focusing on motor vehicle law enforcement."
Chief Jim Craft says is department is already well equipped to adapt to the new system.
"We find that we are on the cutting edge of technology in the Lafayette Police Department. So, we want to use that to operate in the most efficient, effective ways and this program seems to be a fit."
Lafayette Police say although the program focuses on traffic incidents. It's not all about tickets and could actually save taxpayers money.
"It's a program you can run without using additional tax dollars," said Craft. "You don't have to pay overtime, you can do it while on duty. It's not a ticket writing campaign. It's not for the police department to increase revenue by writing more tickets. It's an enforcement action designed to prevent crime, prevent traffic crashes and reduce traffic violations before they occur. In other words, to reduce the social harm to a community."