How Does CompStat Help Rocky Mount Police Reduce Crime?

It has been an instrumental part of reducing the crime rate in New York City by 75 percent, and now it is an important tool used by the Rocky Mount Police Department for fighting crime.

The tool is CompStat, a statistical system use for tracking crime. It's used by police departments across the country as one of several crime reduction initiatives. New York City is just one of the many success stories. In 1993, New York City had 1,946 murders. The system was implemented in 1994. In 2015, the murder rate was down to 352. CompStat works effectively hand-in-hand with other programs to make communities safer and less dangerous.

What is CompStat?

CompStat stands for COMPuter STATistics. Crime statistics are collected and mapped. Officers are able to have accurate, timely intelligence that helps them rapidly deploy as needed. Each officer can follow up and assess the safety and security of his or her "beat."

It was developed in New York as a crime-reduction method, and in 1994, it was computerized.  Studies by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law confirm its effectiveness---in general, CompStat can facilitate a 5 to 15 percent decrease in crime.

CompStat also enables police to implement an effective plan to reduce crime. For example, if CompStat shows that there is a certain time and place where a cluster of robberies occur, then the police are able to focus on the “Why?” and look for patterns.

(If you’d like to get a firsthand of what a CompStat data looks like, check out the one by the NYPD here.)

Crime-Fighting Success in Rocky Mount on the Rise

Since 2012, the RMPD has met every month to discuss the latest CompStat reports.

During a CompStat meeting, officers analyze where the crimes are taking place. Once patterns are established, resources can be allocated to help. Another benefit is that it helps streamline communication between officers who work different shifts: both have instant access to important data.

It’s important to note that while CompStat is a useful tool, it is just one part of the Rocky Mount Police Department’s multifaceted crime-fighting success story. CompStat is one of several crime rate reduction initiatives, technology utilizations and collaborative partnerships that are layered upon each other to help the community.

The numbers speak for themselves. In 2014, Rocky Mount Police Chief James Moore indicated that Rocky Mount had shown a:

  • 20 percent reduction in property crime
  • 17 percent reduction in violent crime
  • 17 percent decrease in burglaries 
  • 21 percent decline in larcenies.
If you want to know more about the Rocky Mount Police Department and its efforts to reduce crime, you may wish to consider  applying for the Citizen’s Police Academy.
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