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Using Public Health Strategies to Reduce Violence in "Hot Spots" in East Palo Alto, California

NCJ Number
Geography & Public Safety Volume: 3 Issue: 2 Dated: August 2012 Pages: 5-8
Date Published
August 2012
4 pages
This article describes a project in East Palo Alto, CA, that is using GIS technology and community-based strategies in identifying and addressing health and violence problems.
The primary outcome anticipated from this program is an improvement in public safety in areas of the city experiencing high levels of crime and violence, as well as an improvement in the health of residents living in those areas. The project is using a combination of community partnerships, technology, spatial analysis, and problem solving strategies to address some of the violence and health challenges facing the city. The police department, the San Mateo County Health System, and academic partners from the Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy have mapped nearly 3 years of shooting data from ShotSpotter system activation in order to identify shooing "hot spots." This will guide the targeting and deployment of police department and health resources for the project. In addition to shooting data, health-related metrics will be collected, analyzed, and mapped, with a focus on comparisons between the crime hot spots. Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) Zones will be identified for intervention. Both law enforcement activities and health-related activities will be defined as the project progresses. The intention of this effort is that as residents increase outdoor activities, they will improve their health and regain control and ownership of their neighborhoods. Police officers will assist in facilitating an increase in residents' outdoor activity by participating with them in walking, jogging, and bike riding. Specific health-related activities in the FIT Zones will be further developed and refined as the project progresses. 2 figures and 4 notes

Date Published: August 1, 2012