In a plan to use cutting-edge technology to reduce violence near high schools, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will bring together parents, teachers, and neighbors for computer-aided brainstorming sessions to find solutions, says the Los Angeles Times. The Community CompStat program is a variation of the Los Angeles Police Department’s long-standing use of computers to map where crimes are occurring by type of offense. The technique allows officers to develop strategies for problem locations. The police program has been credited with helping reduce crime in the city by 40 percent in the last four years.
CompStat, which is short for “computerized statistics,” was developed by a group of policing experts, including Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton when he was head of the New York Police Department. He brought CompStat to Los Angeles. New York City has incorporated some CompStat features, including a focus on crime hot spots, into an Impact Schools initiative to concentrate additional police on 24 schools and surrounding neighborhoods that suffer from a disproportionate amount of crime. Over the last three years, violent crime in and around schools targeted in New York has dropped 53 percent, and school test scores are improving.