Kansas PD Finds Success With Crime-Fighting Strategy

The new Shawnee police program shows that where there are more traffic problems, there is generally more crime and saturates those areas with officers.


SHAWNEE, Kan. --

Shawnee police said they are using a new crime-fighting strategy to help clean up some of the more crime-ridden parts of town.

Shawnee police said the technique has shown a dramatic drop in crime without having to hire extra officers. It's a program called Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety.

The program shows that where there are more traffic problems, there is generally more crime. So police saturate those areas, such as the 75th Street corridor in Shawnee, with more officers. They said, so far, they've seen a 62 percent decrease in auto thefts and burglaries. Robberies have dropped about 42 percent.

"What we've discovered is that there is a correlation between traffic accidents and crime," said Capt. Dan Tennis of the Shawnee Police Department. "And when you merge those two locations together, that would be considered a hot spot. The economic times force us to do more with less, and what we're trying to do is put police officers in areas where they can become effective."

The program is so successful that police said they are going to try it in other areas, such as along Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Other municipalities have taken note. Lawrence has asked for assistance on how to start its own program.

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