You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Police to target ‘micro areas’ of violent crime

40 percent of shootings clustered in small area of Dayton


Nearly 40 percent of shootings in Dayton are concentrated in small hot spots that combined represent less than one square mile, according to a report released this week.

Additionally, more than one in six firearm offenses and almost one in seven robberies last year took place in these small slivers of the city, which altogether represent 1.3 percent of Dayton’s total land mass, according to the research conducted for the Dayton Police Department.

»RELATED: Violent Dayton gun crimes prompt police changes

Dayton police plan to use a “place-based” investigation strategy to try to reduce gun violence and combat crime in some of these tiny pockets of trouble.

The strategy focuses on persistent, chronic “micro areas” of violence that calls for police to work with other city departments, property owners, businesses and community groups to dismantle the infrastructures that support criminals and violent activity, said Tamara Madensen, associate professor of criminal justice and graduate director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The goal is to take down violent offenders and take away their spaces, officials said.

“This isn’t a police-driven approach,” said Madensen, who is consulting the Dayton Police Department. “This is a city-driven approach.”

Dayton officials hope the new policing approach can help reverse some worrisome trends. The city has seen an increase in gun crime and gun crime that causes injuries.

»RELATED: Gun crime up in Dayton

A few criminal offenders account for most of the crime in U.S. communities, according to researchers, and similarly, gun violence tends to be concentrated on specific streets, street corners and areas.

About 39 percent of shootings in Dayton last year took place in micro areas that put together represent less than 0.7 square mile of space, according to preliminary research by Madensen, Lt. Col. Maris Herold with the University of Cincinnati Police Department and Blake Christenson, senior crime analyst with the Cincinnati Police Department.

A disproportionate amount of crime is “concentrated in these tiny, tiny micro hot spots,” Madensen said. “These are chronic … these have been problem places for a very long time.”

Police officials declined to identify where the micro hot spots are, but this newspaper has made a records request to try to determine their locations.

»RELATED: Violent crime surround school where girl was stabbed

Deploying police resources to these areas can result in temporary reductions in crime, but achieving long-term, sustainable reductions usually proves elusive, Madensen said.

Dayton is not certainly unique, Madensen said, because concentrated violence is a common crime pattern in U.S. communities.

The traditional approach to violence reduction focuses almost solely on police action and arresting offenders, but arresting them does not prevent others from taking their place at the same locations, Madensen said.

The place-based investigation strategy has police identify high-crime micro areas but then also identify sites that support the criminal activities, such as where offenders hang out, meet and live, Madensen said.

If there is an open-air drug market where violence commonly occurs, police and other partners would identify and target nearby businesses, residences, public spaces and parking lots that provide drug dealers and offenders comfort spaces and spots to congregate and orchestrate their illegal dealings, said Lt. Col. Herold.

»RELATED: Dayton homicide rate climbs to 40 for the year

Of course, violent offenders must be arrested when they break the law, but police need to disrupt criminal networks by working closely with others on focused deterrents, Herold said.

In Cincinnati, a crime hot spot was cooled down when the city eliminated parking that was used for drug exchanges, tore down buildings where criminal activity occurred and added lighting to dark streets where dealers roamed, Herold said.

“You really have to disrupt these networks,” Herold said. “All in all, we worked with nine city departments on this project.”

The Dayton Police Department is planning to implement a place-based investigative strategy this year at sites not yet announced.

Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl said the approach has shown impressive results in Cincinnati and makes perfect sense to target the network of places that support criminal activity.

“That’s been the missing link,” he said.

Biehl said his department hopes to make a dent in addressing the growing issue of gun violence.

DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APPS FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS

Rising levels of gun crimes prompted the Dayton Police Department earlier this year to reorganize to create a new Violent Crime Bureau, which has a special unit to focus on offenders who fuel gun violence and other gun and robbery offenses.

Last year, there were 535 firearm-related crimes in Dayton, which was up nearly 21 percent, according to police data.

Of those incidents, 111 gun crimes resulted in injuries, which was a small increase from 2015.

Biehl said the strategy likely does not require additional funding.

“We’re talking about taking existing city staff and police personnel and focus them collectively on very, very small geographic areas,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

WATCH: Massive crash at Indy 500 sends car airborne, landing in fiery explosion on track 
WATCH: Massive crash at Indy 500 sends car airborne, landing in fiery explosion on track 

  A major crash at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday sent a race car airborne, careening out of control, before landing in pieces on the track.  The drivers of the two cars involved, Jay Howard and Scott Dixon, were fine, but the violent smash-up caused moments of panic in the pits and in the stands.  Horrified crew members and spectators...
Woman charged for paying minor up to $300 for sex encounters, police say
Woman charged for paying minor up to $300 for sex encounters, police say

A Florida woman is facing charges, accused of paying a child under the age of 15 up to $300 for sexual encounters. Suspect Rebecca McGraw, 38, was arrested on Thursday and is facing five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor under the age of 15, Port St. Lucie police said.  Investigators said McGraw admitted to at least five sexual acts...
Park Layne Car Wash sign found miles away after tornado
Park Layne Car Wash sign found miles away after tornado

Yet another business sign caught up in Wednesday night’s tornado that hit Park Layne was found miles away. The sign for Park Layne Car Wash, 548 McAdams Drive, was found intact approximately 6 and a half miles away on Ohio 202 near Ohio 571. On Thursday, Troy resident Jeff Welbaum found in his backyard a jagged piece of a Sunoco sign...
Sen. Tim Kaine’s son charged for role in pro Trump rally riot
Sen. Tim Kaine’s son charged for role in pro Trump rally riot

  Former Democratic vice presidential candidate US Sen. Tim Kaine’s son is facing charges for his alleged role in a riot that broke out at a pro Trump rally in Minnesota earlier this year. Linwood Michael Kaine, 24, whose father, Sen. Tim Kaine, (D-VA), was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election, was charged...
No public events at Ohio zoo where gorilla killed 1 year ago
No public events at Ohio zoo where gorilla killed 1 year ago

No public events are planned at the Cincinnati Zoo marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of an endangered gorilla. The zoo's dangerous-animal response team concluded the life of a 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure last May 28 was in danger and killed 17-year-old Harambe (huh-RAHM'-bay). That led to global mourning, criticism...
More Stories