Public Information Officer
SHERIFF TO UNVEIL COMPSTAT CRIME PROGRAM THURSDAY IN DELTONA
Sheriff Mike Chitwood came into office in January pledging to infuse the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office with a philosophy of accountability-based policing. On Thursday, the Sheriff will roll out a key element of that pledge with the launch of a high-tech crime-fighting program designed to help identify and combat community crime trends.
The program, called CompStat, not only relies on technology and plotting offenses on a map to help guide the agency’s crime-fighting strategy. It also encourages community participation and feedback from residents about crime in their neighborhood. And that’s why CompStat will be unveiled on Thursday at a public meeting in the most populous part of the Sheriff’s Office’s service area -- Deltona. City staff has been working with the Sheriff’s Office to bring CompStat to Deltona and prepare for Thursday’s launch. Meanwhile, plans are in the works to expand the program to the rest of the Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction.
Co-hosted by the city of Deltona, Thursday’s inaugural CompStat meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. at Deltona City Hall, 2345 Providence Blvd. “CompStat is a great tool that will make us more effective in the way we utilize our assets,” said Sheriff Chitwood. “It will help ensure that we develop policing strategies and direct our resources in a way that meets the community’s needs and has the greatest impact in reducing crime.”
Through CompStat, which is short for computer statistics, crimes are plotted on a map to help identify trends, patterns, connections and hot spots. Then tactics and strategies are discussed with the Sheriff and his commanders in response to the crimes that are occurring. The program is designed to enhance information-sharing and hold supervisors responsible for employing strategies and resources needed to effectively solve, combat and suppress crime. For Sheriff Chitwood, it’s about effective tactics, relentless follow-up, assessment of actions taken and measurable results. And it’s about empowering supervisors and giving them the tools to fight crime and then holding them accountable for the results. And he’ll be the first to acknowledge that not every strategy will be successful. As Sheriff Chitwood puts it: “If it works, do more. If it doesn’t work, do something else.”
CompStat isn’t new. As Daytona Beach Police Chief, Chitwood implemented the program in Daytona Beach in 2006. But in a somewhat novel approach, he opened up the twice-a-month crime control strategy meetings to the public. In Deltona, the meetings will be held every other Thursday and will remain open to the public. Each meeting will look at crime trends from the most recent two weeks in Deltona, and the reports will be posted on the Sheriff’s Office’s web site (http://www.volusiasheriff.org/resources/compstat.stml), beginning this Wednesday.
“Public input is essential to any crime-fighting strategy,” said Sheriff Chitwood. “I don’t believe in holding these meetings in some back room out of view. We want citizens involved, and we want them to not only see what crimes are taking place, but more importantly, what we’re doing about it. That’s what accountability-based policing is all about.”