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Criminologist Builds Computer Model for More Efficient Police Patrols


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A Carrolton, TX, police badge.

An analysis by a criminologist at the University of Texas at Dallas yielded a computer model to guide the Carrollton, TX, police department in optimizing patrol beats.

Credit: @CarrolltonTXPD

Analysis by University of Texas at Dallas assistant professor of criminology Andrew Wheeler yielded a computer model to guide the Carrollton, Texas, police department in optimizing patrol beats.

The criminologist learned certain patrol areas had many calls and some had fewer; the model he introduced offers a relatively simple technique for creating efficient patrol areas and reducing officer travel by 20%.

The model factors in several variables, such as natural barriers and man-made boundaries, while also requiring the solution to return areas with equal call loads.

Wheeler said, "We can configure the program so that officers assigned to patrol areas with hot spots won't have as much real estate to cover, compared to officers covering areas with less crime; thus, they should have an equal amount of time to pursue proactive activities as do officers assigned to non-high crime locations."

From University of Texas at Dallas
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