East Side police commander to present “stat maps”

Kevin Casper, commander of St. Paul Eastern District police station, looks over mapped out crime statistics. (photos by Patrick Larkin/Review)

An example of a stat map that will be presented at the “Neighborhood Gathering” on May 16.

By regularly looking at St. Paul crime data, Commander Kevin Casper said he is able to “keep drilling down” on crime in East Side neighborhoods.

Casper will give a community presentation on Thursday, May 16, on the department’s “stat mapping” techniques, as a way of connecting with residents to fight crime going into the warmer months when criminal activity usually spikes.

“I think citizens are hungry to see this kind of thing,” Casper said.

He tries to look at a crime map for the area every other day. Looking at the maps, which are searchable by type of crimes, allow the department to identify which ones are “hot” in a specific area.

Casper gave an example: there were three burglaries near the 1000 block of Wilson Avenue within about a week. Police identified a pattern, which then led to an arrest.

Casper also gives credit to residents alerting police to neighborhood crimes. “We’re just responding ... and supporting it with statistical data.”

District Five Community Council president Leslie McMurray seconded that. “People can fight crime better when they have good data supporting their efforts.”

Casper said that if an area is seeing high numbers, the Eastern District station will adjust patrols for the area, and sometimes will even distribute flyers telling neighbors to be on alert.

Lately, Casper said Facebook has been a digital means of getting across the same information as a flyer.

In summer months “quality of life (crimes) really jump up,” Casper said.

Casper meets with other district commanders every other week to compare notes on types of crime. He said the statistics create some accountability for the departments, explaining officers “have to address what we’re seeing” and show follow-up results.

Casper’s crime stats presentation will take place as a “Great Neighborhood Gathering” on Thursday, May 16  from 6 to 7:45 p.m. at the Arlington Hills Lutheran Church, 1115 Greenbrier St.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or eastside@lillienews.com.

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