Friday, December 3, 2010

Crime! Works So Well it’s Practically Criminal

Maryland Crime Mapping and Analysis Program

With the renewed Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) grant, the GIS lab continues its work to provide crime mapping in the state of Maryland. The Washington College GIS Lab also conducts an outreach program, which invites law enforcement agencies to sign up for crime mapping training. Caryn Thomas ’05 M’09 and Andrew Wright guide student interns in the lab. Here are some recent projects that the WC crime fighting students are working on.

Stephanie Olsen ‘11

Stephanie is currently working on the violence prevention initiative, researching and locating violent criminals and sex offenders for the Maryland Off ender Management System. She provides corrections to Division of Parole and Probation agents to improve the mapability of violent criminals. This map, along with the data, is then used by the police agents and parole officers to keep track of offenders that have been released into the community in order to keep the people around them safe.

Matt Stiles ‘11

Matt has been working in the GIS lab all summer and is back to work during his senior year at Washington College. He works on crime mapping creating maps and tables for different law enforcement agencies. Most of the maps Matt makes are “Welcome Wagon” maps. These maps show all of the people released from jail in a given area for a given period of time. After Matt makes the map he makes a table listing all the people on the map and what they did to be put in jail. Matt can make many different types of maps and tables, and they can all be customized to what any of the number of law enforcement agencies would like to have.

Kim Zepeda ‘12

Kim, like Stephanie, is also on working on improving the mapping rate of the most violent criminals currently on Maryland’s Parole and Probation. With the help and research of student interns the GIS program has assisted in increasing the mapping percentage of the violence prevention initiative offenders from 87% in August 2009 to 96.4% in August 2010 and the mapping percentage of sex offenders from 86.6% in March 2010 to 94% in August 2010.