May 24, 2013
Government Technology

Police officers sometimes feel like they’re playing Whac-A-Mole — they work to decrease illegal activity in a high-crime area, only to have it pop up somewhere else. This is how Joel Caplan, an assistant professor in Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice, described the feelings of some of the police officers that he works with on crime research. “They identify a hot spot, they suppress crime in that location, and they realize that it emerges in other places or comes back the moment they leave,” Caplan said. “They’re trying to figure out how to manage crime in a way that produces long-term positive outcomes.” To solve that problem, Caplan partnered with two Rutgers colleagues, professors Eric Piza and Leslie Kennedy, to research risk terrain modeling....

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