Sacto 9-1-1
October 4, 2011
Sacramento police 'hot spot' study shows focus the key

A Sacramento police "hot spot" study has revealed that highly visible focusing on an area by officers reduces crime.

The 90-day study was conducted in East Sacramento and downtown beginning Feb. 8. Police identified 42 hot spots where high amounts of calls for service -- often involving violent crime -- were reported.

Of the 42 hot spots, 21 were randomly chosen as "treatment areas" where officers spent 15-minute periods each day. During those stints, the officers took a highly visible approach to fighting crime, according to a department press release.

The other 21 areas received traditional patrol services.

The results showed that focusing police efforts on high-activity crime locations, the so-called hot spots, reduced the amount of violent crime and calls for service in the treatment areas.

Professor David Weisburd of the George Mason University Center for Evidence Based Crime Policy monitored the study. The press release notes Weisburd considered the Sacramento hot spot study one of the best he has seen conducted by a department without additional funding or active academic participation.

The department hopes to continue to reduce crime through focused police services on areas of high crime and calls for service.

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