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Syracuse police launching data-driven crime reduction program

Ryan Delaney
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler and Mayor Stephanie Miner. (file photo)

The Syracuse Police Department will soon be using a data-driven approach to reducing gun and other violent crime.

The police department will launch a program that it says will help it better pinpoint where in the city to target crime prevention efforts, which Mayor Stephanie Miner spoke about it in her recent state of the city address.

"This data-oriented strategy will enable our officers to systematically diagnose trends in gun violence," she said.

It’s called the Problem Oriented Policing program, or POP.

"Once the hotspots are identified, the dedicated POP team will develop and deploy various strategies in those areas and use ongoing data analysis to measure the results of their interventions," Miner said.

Police Chief Frank Fowler describes what happens next: "Then we do a survey of all the residents in that neighborhood to find out what the top five problems are in that specific neighborhood," he said.

Fowler says the crime data is just a starting point.

"Because even though the data tells us that crime is happening, shots are being fired, the neighbors are going to tell us who the real problem people are," said Fowler. "And that’s when we focus our total attention on them."

It will important for the department to integrate the POP program will other special efforts underway, Fowler said, and the key to the success of any crime-reduction program is the community’s involvement.