CALDWELL -- Police say a new plan to crack down on crime has significantly reduced the number of crime-related calls in the city's most active area.
The national program is called the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety. The Caldwell Police Department impmented the program one year ago, and used the data to pinpoint exactly where extra law enforcement was needed.
Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood says he simply studied the statistics, switched some officer shifts, and reached out to those living and working in the highest crime area of the city.
Chief Allgood says the research showed most traffic and crime calls came from a roughly mile-long stretch of 10th Avenue in Caldwell. Allgood said he was surprised by the data -- and especially when most of the calls were coming in -- Wednesday and Thursday nights.
So, he moved extra officers to that area at those times. Allgood says the move worked.
"I think the visibility and the idea that we're out there enforcing the law causes people to just be a little more cautious and it works," said Allgood.
The chief says when his department kicked off the program a year ago, dozens of officers made contacts in the area, spreading the word that they'd be cracking down.
PREDICTIONS MADE ACCURATELY
Allgood says that prediction has played out accurately.
"For our first quarter last fall, we reduced the calls in that area by 40 percent -- I mean just in one shot -- and so we were very enthusiastic and we want to keep that going," said Allgood.
Some citizens working in the area, like business owner Nancy Ferrell, say they've noticed the push in police presence.
"There's cops all the time, which is way good," Ferrell said. "They're across at the restaurants, or over at the stores, everywhere that people are hanging out a lot."
The department plans to increase its efforts even more during the second year of the progrm. Dozens of officers are scheduled to be in the high call area from 3 p.m. until 10p.m. on Thursday.
PROGRAM DOESN'T ADD COST
Chief Allgood says the best part is that the program doesn't cost his department any extra money. He also says later this year, the depatment hopes to move on to another high call area, hoping to have the same success throughout the city.
Nancy Ferrell says that's a plan with positive outcome.
"It's great, if it helps keeps the kids off the streets, and go and do the right thing, that's what matters, and it makes it safe to live here," said Ferrell.