Posted on September 26, 2014
In a new train-the-trainer program that began this summer, employees with the Center for Transportation Safety will begin training police officers on how to teach others about a crime-fighting tool that can dramatically improve crime and crash rates. The Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) train-the-trainer program begins in the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT’s) Pharr District in August.
“Two years ago, we began conducting workshops for police departments and other law enforcement agencies showing them how to implement DDACTS,” Associate Research Scientist Troy Walden says. “This year, as part of the three-year TxDOT project funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we created a train-the-trainer program so that they can teach others how to use the DDACTS methodology.”
DDACTS uses crime and traffic statistics to pinpoint hot spots in a given community. It’s those hot spots where the law enforcement agency concentrates its police presence with increased high-visibility traffic enforcement.
“We started noticing a dramatic difference in our crime numbers soon after we began the DDACTS program in 2012,” Harlingen Police Department Deputy Chief Mike Kester says. “There was a 20 percent reduction in major crimes the first year, another 20 percent reduction the second year, and so far in 2014 crime is down another 15 percent.” Officials say that Harlingen now has its lowest crime rate since 1985.