TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — When you think of the role police have in Tucson, you may picture a traffic stop or a crime scene. But there is a lot that the public doesn't see, like the work Aeric Koerner does at Tucson Police Department's headquarters.
"TPD is a progressive police department. Transparency is a part of that," said Koerner.
Koerner leads a team of 11 data analysts in the department. Their job is to collect, analyze and distribute information to every sector of the Tucson Police Department.
"Serving department needs, answering questions about staffing, police activities, crimes and locations...that's a part of our day. We also evaluate new policies that the department has rolled out," said Koerner.
Data analysis got its start at TPD over half a decade ago, but collection of accurate information has renewed importance.
"It's really effective to have data driven decision making. Not only can we see where we've been, but where we're going," said Koerner.
TPD's data driven decisions involve identifying "hot spots." These are areas in the city that have a history of violent crime.
"We can say, there's a concentration of potentially gun crime in this area. We can surge patrol into that area to make sure that when officers are on shift that they're checking into that area once or twice, maybe three times, a shift, just to show the patrol presence and deter crime in that area," said Koerner.
The department is in the process of hiring more data analysts to not only help their staff, but keep Tucson safe.
"We're growing. The city and the country needs data analysis and transparency in policing. That's exactly the need that we're looking to serve," said Koerner.
Data from TPD is available to the public at policeanalysis.tucsonaz.gov.
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