Dane County Sheriff's Office uses data to prevent domestic violence

Published: Nov. 20, 2017 at 8:26 PM CST
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Dane County Sheriff's Office is taking on a new way of trying to stop domestic violence. It is using data, like times and locations of domestic calls, to figure out patterns. Sheriff David Mahoney says Dane County was the first agency in the state to dedicate specific officers to investigate domestic violence in 1994 and, since then, it has continued to evolve.

"The traditional law enforcement, in my 38 years of law enforcement, you just responded to calls for service. Data driven intelligence based policing looks at the data and the specific analytics that go into identifying specific times or days of the week so that you can use your resources to try to be there before the crime occurs," said Mahoney.

Mahoney says with this information his office can work together with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services to try to stop violence before it starts.

"When we look at a lot of the other social issues that are impacting our community right now, whether it's community based violence, the heroin epidemic, children success in school... if you look, trauma is often a root cause of all of those issues," said DAIS Executive Director Shannon Barry.

DAIS says information like this can help identify different schools where they can work to interrupt the cycle of violence by teaching kids what healthy relationships look like.

Sheriff Mahoney says the Village of Windsor was one area in the county where there has been a high number of domestic calls.

This project is still in the beginning stages. The sheriff's office has looked at more than two thousand domestic incidents from January 2014 to August 2017. Stats show 35 percent of calls were on weekends and 50 percent of calls were between 4 p,m. and 10 p.m.