Captain Tim Hegarty isn’t afraid to try new methods of fighting crime.
For his efforts and success in implementing crime-reducing policing programs, the Riley County Police Department administrative captain recently was inducted into the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame. The hall of fame is associated with George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy.
Evidence-based policing, Hegarty said, is “translating what science tells us works in fighting crime to practical application.”
“I think we’ve established time and time again that it is working here in Manhattan,” he said.
Hegarty was nominated for the hall of fame by Sue Williams, an associate professor of sociology at Kansas State University.
He credited Williams for much of his induction.
“It probably has as much to do with the nomination letter that Dr. Williams wrote as much as anything else,” he said.
Williams and the sociology department worked with Hegarty and the RCPD from October to December 2012 during Initiative: Laser Point, a policing program study focused on reducing crime in numerous hot spots around the community.
During the study, RCPD officers parked their patrol cars visibly in the hot spot areas, remained there for 15 minutes, but refrained from any proactivity unless required.
“All you have to do is be there, be present and be visible, and it works to reduce crime,” Hegarty said of the policing method used in the study.
The results showed a significant reduction in crime in the hot spots compared to the same time period in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
“The success of that really led to my nomination and induction,” Hegarty said, adding that the study succeeded because of the department’s officers and its partners at KSU.
RCPD Director Brad Schoen said Hegarty’s work has continued to contribute to an annual drop in the area’s per capita crime rate that started in 2008.
Schoen added that the community should be comforted to know that the Hegarty and the department are actively working to reduce crime in the area.
“It all falls under our mission statement, which is to reduce crime and improve the quality of life,” Schoen said.