FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence County Sheriff's deputies have been targeting enforcement to certain areas since June, using a new strategy that is already yielding results.
Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety, or DDACTS, is a U.S. Justice Department-approved patrol model. It cuts down on car accidents and crime by focusing presence on areas where those numbers are high.
Deputies go into "hot spots" that have the highest car accident and crime rates for the county, based on crime incident reports and accident numbers from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. The deputies then turn on their back blue lights to show people there is law enforcement presence.
"To let the good folks know that we're there and also the bad folks," said Major Michael Nunn, of the Florence County Sheriff's Office.
East Palmetto Street's Glendale community and surrounding neighborhoods have gone from having 15 car crashes back in June when DDACTS began to 11 crashes by October, according to Major Nunn.
The Pine Street area has seen the biggest decrease in car accidents from 12 to 3, he said.
The Florence County Sheriff's Office hot spot statistics show crime reports are also diminishing in hot spots, although not as rapidly as car accidents.
Hot spots change every month based on what the numbers show and some of the original hot spots have disappeared from the list now.
"The reduction of social harm in those areas was dramatic and we were very proud of that," Major Nunn said.
The Florence County Sheriff's Office plans to start tracking days of the week and times of day the most incidents occur to further focus enforcement.
"We're really excited about the long-term potential of DDACTS," Major Nunn said. "We're only scratching the surface on its usability."
Hot spots change monthly. The following are the four identified hot spots between mid-December and mid-January:
-Second Loop, Third Loop, Cashua Drive Area, Mayfair Terrace, Rosedale Street, Patton Drive, Chadwick Subdivision
-Howe Springs Road & Pamplico Highway, Hewitt and Brandonwoods Subdivision;
-Howe Springs Road, Tara Village Subdivision and Southern Pines;
-S. Morris Street in Lake City, SC.