FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? NIJ

Monday, December 11 , 2000?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 202/307-0703




SAN DIEGO, CA ? The Office of the Vice President today presented a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) team with the prestigious Hammer Award for its success in enhancing and spreading the use of crime mapping to identify, prevent and control crime.? Through the Hammer Award, Vice President Gore?s National Performance Review recognizes teams of federal employees who have made significant contributions toward reinventing government operations.

The award was presented to the team at NIJ?s Crime Mapping Research Center?s annual conference, ?Wheredunit: Investigating the Role of Place in Crime and Criminality.? The conference is facilitating information sharing among criminal justice researchers and practitioners who wish to enhance their knowledge of state-of-the-art crime mapping practices.

?Crime mapping has become an increasingly important tool in the effort to identify crime problems and develop specific, targeted strategies to make our streets safer,? said NIJ Acting Director Julie Samuels.? ?NIJ?s Crime Mapping Research Center has done a great job bringing mapping technology and analysis to law enforcement agencies across the nation.?

In 1996, NIJ recognized the largely untapped potential of computerized crime mapping and the need to expand its use.? This effort led to the creation of the Crime Mapping Research Center, which promotes research, evaluation, development and dissemination of electronic ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

approaches that monitor the location of crime and analyze identified trends.? For the past four years, the Center has made significant progress in expanding the use and understanding of crime mapping.? A 1997 survey showed that 33 percent of large law enforcement agencies used crime mapping.? By 1999, that figure had nearly doubled to 60 percent.?

Center accomplishments include:

?                      The development of a Web site that serves as a central point for information about crime mapping that allows interested criminal justice officials immediate access to information on crime mapping research, best practices, software tools, and training opportunities.

?                      The development of crime mapping software that is provided without charge to law enforcement and can be downloaded directly from the Center?s Website.

?                      The development and implementation of an electronic, Internet-based listserv that allows criminal justice officials worldwide to share information about crime mapping.? This tool also lets the Center?s 6-person team provide information and products to respond to an average of 130 queries daily.

?                      The development of prediction models that can enhance law enforcement officials? understanding of crime and their ability to more effectively prevent it.

NIJ is a component of the Office of Justice Programs and is the Justice Department?s research and evaluation agency.? Additional information about NIJ and OJP is available at:

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For additional information contact: Doug Johnson 202/616-3559