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Summary of Mapping Violence and High Frequency Calls for Police Service: The Charlotte, North Carolina Example

NCJ Number
Date Published
83 pages
Computer-aided dispatch records form the Charlotte, N.C. Police Department for 1984-93 were used to examine the spatial distributions of domestic disputes and to demonstrate how a specific type of geographic information system (GIS) produces a specific type of map that enhances the ability to measure and determine changes in calls for service through time.
The project used the IDRISI raster-based GIS and isarithmic mapping. Results revealed that during 1984, the response areas experiencing the highest frequencies of domestic dispute calls were in the northern, central, and western portions of the city. The most conspicuous area producing calls was on the west side of the city next to the airport, in an area consisting of large public housing properties located in other lower-income neighborhoods. Areas around the periphery of the city that had no domestic dispute calls were not part of the city but were later annexed. Differences occurred in the spatial patterns over 9 years. Findings indicated that raster-based mapping and GIS have great promise for further describing, defining, and analyzing crime in its ecological setting, but it should not be regarded as a panacea or the ultimate mapping solution. A vector-based mapping would be better for some purposes. Users of these tools should become familiar with the concepts and principles governing their use. Charts and maps

Date Published: January 1, 1997