Cambridge Police Gets Grant to Improve Crime Prevention

The Cambridge Police Department received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to implement a new analytics-based approach to crime prevention as part of the Smart Policing Initiative, the CPD announced Tuesday.

Cambridge was one of sixteen national sites chosen to participate in the program, for which Lieutenant Daniel Wagner will serve as the local project director.

According to the release, the grant will allow the CPD to coordinate with the Everett Police department, the Somerville Police Department, and the research firm Justice & Security Strategies to “prevent cross-jurisdictional violent crime” and improve policing strategies.

The initiative will have a budget of $299,668 to be used over a two-year period, according to the release.

The project will attempt to use new standards to facilitate easier data sharing between the different police departments, Cambridge Police Department spokesperson Daniel M. Riviello wrote in an email.

The departments also hope to make greater use of predictive measures and policing analytics to prevent crime, according to Riviello. Policing analytics enable police departments to predict the areas, time frames, and types of crime—making it easier for officers to control and prevent criminal activity.

The grant allows Cambridge to expand upon current crime predictive measures already in place, including bi-weekly data collection meetings and monthly public reports.

Riviello called the Smart Policing Initiative a “natural progression” from those meetings which highlighted crime patterns.

The grant money will also be used to “train crime analysts, IT staff, officers, and detectives on smart policing practices” as well as updating software data systems and hardware, Riviello wrote.

He emphasized that the program was important for everyone in Cambridge’s jurisdiction and will allow CPD to use its resources most effectively.

“A more agile police department which is better equipped and able to deploy its resources and combat crime will lead to a community which is safer for all who live, work, visit, and study in the City,” Riviello wrote.

—Staff writer Amy Q. Friedman can be reached at afriedman@college.harvard.edu.

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