Geography & Public Safety Bulletin

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The Geography and Public Safety bulletin is a collaborative publication by NIJ and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). The bulletin highlights how geography can be applied to solve crime and public safety problems. Issues feature successful research stories, describe policy initiatives, present technical tips for using GIS and highlight recent news. 

Current Issue

Volume III, Issue II — Use of GIS in the Public Health Sector

In this issue, we examine the use of GIS in the public health sector and how this use can enhance public safety. This issue will review the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission, an illustration of a comprehensive community-based system to reduce youth and gang violence in Los Angeles County, and crime mapping news section.

Volume III, Issue II, September 2012 (pdf, 19 pages)

Past Issues

Volume III, Issue I — Using GIS to Address the Full Spectrum of Law Enforcement Issues

The theme for this issue is using GIS to address the full spectrum of public safety issues facing law enforcement. While mapping crime must remain a key focus, using the power of geographic analysis to enhance community policing and problem-solving strategies must also be pursued. In this new economy, in which we are all asked to do more with less, it is imperative that agencies make informed decisions by making the best use of available data. Just as GIS can be used to assess crime incidents, it can also be used to explore issues such as community participation, equitable distribution of police services, and procedural justice.

Volume III, Issue 1, October 2011 (pdf, 20 pages)

Volume II, Issue IV — Predictive Policing

This issue highlights a developing field of study in policing and analysis, Predictive Policing. This issue will discuss the inaugural Predictive Policing Symposium, which brought together researchers and practitioners to discuss the concepts involved in predictive policing. Included, is a discussion of NIJ's Geospatial Technical Working Group and experimenting with hot spots analysis using prediction in Minneapolis.

Volume II, Issue IV, March 2011 (pdf, 16 pages)

Volume II, Issue III — Traffic Safety

This issue discusses the Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) initiative and how it is helping law enforcement executives deploy resources more efficiently and effectively. This initiative was developed through a partnership between National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice. DDACTS emphasizes using geographic mapping to locate crime and traffic hot spots and target these areas with highly visible traffic enforcement. This issue also illustrates the use of DDACTS in Baltimore County Md., Lafourche Parish, La., and Nashville, Tenn.

Volume II, Issue III - June 2010 (pdf, 20 pages)

Volume II, Issue II — Neighborhoods

This issue discusses neighborhoods and the importance of geographic composition. It examines topics, definitions and technologies that demonstrate that neighborhoods matter. Articles bring the abstract idea of a neighborhood into a concrete set of ideas for practice. The articles by Marc Buslik, Phil Canter and Mark Warren highlight how numerous delineations of neighborhood boundaries make it more difficult for the police to serve the public adequately. Markovic discusses why neighborhoods matter when implementing community policing. Lastly, Jim Zepp highlights how residents of various neighborhoods participated in a government contest to create web sites that helped citizens of Washington, D.C., better communicate information about their neighborhoods to others.
Volume II, Issue II, December 2009 (pdf, 20 pages)

Volume II, Issue I — Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

This issue focuses on how mapping and spatial analysis can help jurisdictions understand the effects of sex offender residency restrictions.  Specifically, it discusses how residency restrictions affect recidivism - whether they hamper offenders' reentry process and make it less likely that they will get treatment and services. Articles include a discussion of whether residency restrictions are a good idea, a study of residency restrictions in Minnesota, a report on the use of GPS monitoring for sex offenders in Florida, and a description of a spatial analysis technique for tracking sex offenders piloted by California Department of Corrections data.
Volume II, Issue I, May 2009 (pdf, 16 pages)

Volume I, Issue IV — Districting and Resource Allocation

Issue IV of the Geography and Public Safety Bulletin focuses on how police can use geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical analysis to create police districts that balance officer workloads, and how they can best allocate resources. Articles focus on how two communities redrew district boundaries, and highlight techniques and technologies that can help police respond faster and more effectively to emergency situations. The issue also provides highlights successful redistricting projects in the news, and discusses two of the MAPS program’s internal research projects.
Volume 1, Issue IV, Winter 2009 (pdf, 20 pages)

Volume I, Issue III — Home Foreclosures

Issue III of Geography and Public Safety examines how the nationwide home foreclosure crisis has affected crime, police practice, and public policy. Articles show that geographic information systems can assess how foreclosures influence crime trends and improve city cleanup of graffiti and blight. Additionally, the issue describes the tenets of the broken windows policing theory, and how this theory explains why police and public planners must react quickly, before crime has a chance to escalate.
Volume 1, Issue III, Fall 2008 (pdf, 20 pages)

Volume I, Issue II — Traffic Safety and DUIs

Issue 2 of Geography and Public Safety focuses on how police can use geographic information systems and related technologies can be used for traffic safety analysis. Expert authors discuss traffic safety issues, highlighting ways to target drunk driving and excessive speeding. The issue provides a variety of features on these topics, including an editorial, police discussion, technical piece, and series of news briefs.
Volume I, Issue II, Summer 2008 (pdf, 20 pages)

Volume I, Issue I — Hot Spots

The first issue of the Geography & Public Safety Bulletin is focused on the topic of hot spot analysis. There is also a technical section, about using ESRI's ModelBuilder, an article about how a university is helping smaller, rural police departments with crime mapping, an "In the News" section, and a list of events.
Volume I, Issue I, Winter 2008 (pdf, 16 pages)

Date Modified: November 28, 2012