Thursday, August 15, 2013

Local Crime Map of Campus Useful to Many

Alicia DeBonis is a Junior at Washington College and is currently majoring in Sociology. She is from Middletown, DE and is interested in traveling.

     Crime always plays a role in society. It limits where people will choose to live, where one may send their children to school, and the local flow of traffic. These things are also reflected when one thinks about colleges and the amount of crime that can take place on campus. Many incoming students and their parents wouldn’t want to attend a school where there is a high crime rate. Mapping crime reports help show that there is a small density of crime on the Washington College Campus.

     Mapping the crime on campus also helps current students and the college community becomes more aware of the types of crime that occur and their locations. Using ArcGIS technologies, a map where the different crimes have taken place using the 911 address points for campus buildings can be made. Using different layers, one can show certain types of illegal activities and their locations, or the density of crime in a certain area. This project can also be used by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assist in knowing where to concentrate most of their officers, in order to reduce the amount of crime, and to attract more people to Washington College because of the low crime rates.

     I started working on this project while taking Stewart Bruce’s “Intro to GIS” class in the fall of 2011. After completing the class and coming to work at the GIS lab, the project was put on the back burner, until this spring semester. Luckily, I have had some time at the end of this semester to expand the campus crime project. Currently, the crime map now includes data from 2011 to present.
     Lately, there haven’t been many obstacles for this expansion. Since most of the basic steps were already completed, the new data just had to be added. It did take a little longer than expected to actually attain the crime data from Public Safety, but this is understandable because of their busy schedules and their importance to the college.
     In the next year, I hope that this project will continue to expand because I think it is important information for students to know. Many students at Washington College are unaware that there are a decent amount of crimes that do occur on campus. Hopefully continuing this project will help students become more aware of their surroundings and less surprised when a crime happens.

-By: Alicia DeBonis

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