KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City police said three midtown burglary suspects are in custody and a problem property in the Northland is in check thanks to the department’s recommitment to analyzing crime data.
Thursday, the department introduced Sgt. Jonas Baughman as the city’s first crime coordinator. Chief Rick Smith created the position shortly after taking office in mid-August.
Baughman's goal is to take a "laser sharp" look at crime data to identify trends. He’ll then turn his analysis into information police can use to proactively prevent crime.
"Say a burglar is going after a certain neighborhood," he said. "If we can identify his pattern of operating after the second or third crime, we can act on that instead of the fourth, fifth, sixth crime."
Baughman’s first task was to change the way commanders and different divisions within the police department meet and share information. He admitted the department has crunched crime data for years but said Smith put an emphasis on acting on those numbers.
“Hopefully what citizens see is a more timely response,” he explained. “We're just trying to do things that we've had in place for a long time, but we're trying to be more effective and more timely.”
In his first weeks on the job, Baughman said analysis helped track a group of three people police suspect broke into several homes in midtown Kansas City. They’ve also worked with partners outside the police department to create the Northland Emergency Abatement Team. The group targets properties in the Northland with connections to crime.
Overall, Baughman hopes his work allows officers on the street to stay one step ahead of criminals.