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Roanoke Police Department takes crime data seriously

Reducing the crime rate has been a major focus for the Roanoke Police Department since it made a commitment to lower the amount of cases in the city.

The total amount of crimes in Roanoke, Va., has dropped by nearly 50 percent since 2005, the lowest it has been in almost 9 years, The Roanoke Star reported. However, a recent shooting has city council officials wanting to put more effort toward crime fighting to keep its residents safe. The department and council members view safety as a high priority for their city and could look to new police technology for assistance.

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Deputy Chief Tim Jones told The Roanoke Star the police department watches the crime statistics closely and issues additional patrolling officers to a specific area whenever they believe it's needed.

City overreacting from crime poll?
Movoto, a real estate brokerage firm, recently released its list of safest cities in Virginia, and it placed Roanoke as the 37th safest city in the state - last place, according to The Roanoke Star. The real estate firm used data from city and state crime records and from the FBI to determine the safeness of each city.

However, many city officials and law enforcement executives think the data provided is too "simplistic" and does not represent the decreasing amount of crime in the city. The FBI has even issued a statement saying studies should not rely on raw data alone to conduct rankings or lists for safe neighborhoods, cities or states.

"Anytime you're working with statistics it's very easy to make them reflect the position you're speaking from," Jones told the source."But we try to take the middle of the road approach. It's so unfortunate that they base that strictly on particular segments of the crime reports."

In 2013, the Roanoke Police Department placed 3rd in the National Law Enforcement Challenge, which is operated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The department placed high in the contest because of its improved awareness on seatbelt safety, speeding and catching those who are driving impaired.

To reinforce their upstanding record of excellence, the police department could turn to a crime control system. Detecting crime patterns takes a considerable amount of strategical data and analysis and having the right policing technology could put this information at an officer's finger tips.


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