Fighting crime in Denver starts with numbers, says the Rocky Mountain News. Monday mornings at police headquarters begin with a review of the past week’s crime statistics. Over the next few days, civilian crime analysts and sworn officers mix desktop analysis with detective work. Every Thursday, the brass and top cops from each of the city’s six police districts meet to chew over the findings. The idea is to analyze as many statistics as quickly as possible to spot patterns. District commanders undergo a kind of stand-up oral exam, quizzed by their bosses and peers about what’s working and what isn’t.
The effort, called Command Operations Review and Evaluation, CORE for short, is one of the biggest changes in Denver policing in many years. It also may be one reason overall crime in Denver was down by 11.2 percent in the first 11 months of 2007 compared with the same period the year before. The concept has its roots in New York City, where former Police Commissioner William Bratton installed a similar process called CompStat (computer crime statistics) more than 10 years ago. Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman, who sat in the center of the room during a recent CORE meeting, says a number of factors such as the economy affect crime. Whitman said CORE helps commanders, who juggle personnel and other tasks, to focus on the central purpose of law enforcement.