Police targeting crime hotspots around Old Dominion Univ.

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 8:32 AM

2/26 UPDATE: ODU Police had a strong presence on the streets around campus and it's being noticed.
ODU sophomore Vincent Logan says he's seen a few police officers driving by checking to see if student are okay.
Matt O'Brien was walking home from the library around 2 a.m. The ODU sophomore has seen more police on patrol, but he's concerned about a few weeks down the road.
"It ramps up for awhile and then it just sort of dies down and things get back to normal," said O'Brien.
Students will hold a memorial service at 7 p.m. at Kaufman Mall to remember Paul Johnson.
Online court records show one person charged with assault, 20-year-old Christopher Johnson, is due in court Thursday morning; there was no court date set for the second person charged in the case - 21-year-old David Grimm, Jr.
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NORFOLK - Hotspot policing is the new strategy to combat crime around Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

“We will flood that area to address that problem,” Officer Chris Amos said.

The Norfolk Police Dept. is adding officers to watch the campus and the areas around it since the weekend beating death of student Paul Johnson. The initiative includes patrols by car and on foot and crackdowns on known trouble areas.

Police departments nationwide use the hotspot technique to focus on small geographic areas where crime is frequent and highly predicable. Hotspot policing doesn't cost extra money or require overtime. Instead, it’s a matter of assigning officers to focus on specific parts of the city.

Norfolk Police use the “compstat” program to identify spikes in crime and determine the target areas.

Amos stressed the tactic works in the short term, but it’s not a lasting solution.

“Inevitably that problem subsides and something else pops up in the city and then we address that,” he states.

Additionally, the Norfolk police lieutenant in charge of the Old Dominion University area is meeting with the university's police chief to come up with out-of-the-box safety ideas involving students and the community.

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