Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right. The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine. -- These words by June Jordan, a poet, teacher and essayist born in Harlem in 1936, helped inspire the mission of the Newark Public Safety Collaborative. The points of view of multiple stakeholders, and the difference of their perspectives, can add value to strategies aiming to achieve the shared goal of public safety.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: Newark’s public safety efforts need to be data-driven and evidence-based. While the City of Newark and its police department (NPD) has the technological capacity for extensive data collection and management, there remains a need for a more robust framework for collaborative problem-solving and community engagement. There is also a need to coordinate multiple resources in efficient and effective ways. Newark’s wealth of ‘big data’ requires a structured and repeatable process for its analysis and review in order to become actionable by a variety of municipal departments and their community partners. This needs to be done in a measured and transparent way.
PROBLEM SOLUTION: The Newark Public Safety Collaborative (NPSC) enhances the operational value of existing technology and data to improve public safety in Newark. As part of the SCJ - Newark Anchor Initiative, it coordinates and capitalizes on the various strengths of all public safety stakeholders throughout the City. The NPSC topples siloes and integrates multiple stakeholders into a collaborative process of building narratives to define and solve problems in ways that shares the burden of crime prevention and public safety. The NPSC is informed by data and evidence-based practices.
NPSC is guided by the DICE framework for crime prevention and public safety, which allows for a comprehensive approach to crime risk governance. The five principles of DICE are:
Guided by these principles, the NPSC emphasizes evidence-based decision-making, problem solving, data analytics, transparency, efficient utilization of resources, and sustainability.
Data-informed community engagement (DICE) uses 'RTM' and the 'ACTION agenda' to diagnose crime problems, form risk narratives, and develop place-based strategies to disrupt the narratives with coordinated responses by multiple stakeholders and resources. Risk-Based Policing, for instance, was adapted from the DICE framework.
DICE strategies share the burden of crime prevention and public safety among several stakeholders who deliver a variety of resources, in coordinated fashion, to places that need them most.
This strategy for crime prevention and public safety has been tested in multiple cities throughout New Jersey and the United States. A 2012 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study found that it reduced gun crimes in Newark by 35%. Over 40 scientific articles have been published on this approach and related analytical techniques, as well as reports and full-length books, all of which can be viewed at www.rutgerscps.org. The NPSC will be implemented using best-practices informed by the NIJ study and other rigorous research conducted over the years.
Crime prevention requires thoughtful decision-making informed by real-time understandings of the spatial dynamics of crime and its related factors. It requires a concerted effort to think about the mechanisms that enable crime hotspots to emerge and persist over time. By establishing a risk-based approach to public safety, the NPSC enables city officials and community leaders to focus on the places that are in greatest need of resources. Then they implement strategies that utilize their collective strengths in coordinated, complementary and measurable ways.
Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Giménez-Santana, Director of NPSC | email@example.com