DCA Announces Partnership with City of Atlantic City, Atlantic City Police Department, and Stockton University to Advance Clean and Safe Initiatives

  • Posted on: 10/5/2022

Partnership Will Introduce CitiStat and CompStat Programs to Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced it is partnering with Stockton University and collaborating with the City of Atlantic City and Atlantic City Police Department to introduce the CitiStat and CompStat programs to the city.

The announcement was made at a symposium on the topic held today at the John F. Scarpa Academic Center on Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus. 

Public engagement is a key component of both CitiStat and CompStat and members of the public will be invited to attend regularly scheduled meetings with city and police officials to address quality of life and safety issues. The public meetings will be announced on the City’s website and published in local newspapers so that citizens will know when and where the meetings are occurring.

“We believe CitiStat and CompStat can be transformative for Atlantic City,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The City can use the two programs to effectively examine quality-of-life concerns affecting neighborhoods and, in the process, make Atlantic City a better place to buy a home, raise children, establish a business, or take a vacation.”

“My administration is intent on making the city as clean and safe as possible for the great people of Atlantic City, which is why we are 100 percent committed to the CitiStat and CompStat programs,” said City of Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. “These programs have made a positive difference in other cities in the state and nation and can certainly do the same in Atlantic City, especially with the support of the State and Stockton behind the effort.”

CitiStat was first used in Baltimore City two decades ago. The program enables municipal governments to track, analyze, appraise, and improve municipal services delivered by every municipal department. It also allows residents to meet regularly with the heads of municipal departments to address quality-of-life concerns. CitiStat is designed to motivate municipal departments through data metrics and public input to improve their performance and produce better results. 

CompStat was pioneered by the New York City Police Department. The program is aimed at holding police department managers accountable for their performance and utilizing computer systems to analyze large sets of data to help determine where to deploy police officers to reduce and even prevent criminal activity. CompStat consists of four distinct principles:

  • Accurate and Timely Intelligence, which can be used to direct police resources to the exact problem area (in a timely manner);
  • Effective Tactics that encourage “thinking outside the box” and considering every resource, both internal and external, when responding to a problem;
  • Rapid Deployment of police resources to address emerging crime trends identified through data intelligence; and
  • Relentless Follow-Up and Assessment to obtain improved results.

“The men and women of the Atlantic City Police Department are committed to an empirical approach to fighting crime and addressing community concerns while providing exemplary service to our residents, visitors and the business community,” said Atlantic City Police Department Acting Chief James Sarkos. “We are excited by the prospects of what this program will do for the police department and for our great city. We look forward to the continued collaboration with our city, county and state partners.” 

“As a state-designated anchor institution, Stockton University is thrilled to be able to collaborate with DCA, Atlantic City, and the Police Department with respect to implementing and assessing this most important project designed to enhance safety and security in Atlantic City,” said Dr. Harvey Kesselman, President of Stockton University. 

The CitiStat and CompStat programs will build on the Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) the City has been using for several years to promote safety in Atlantic City. RTM analyzes crime incident patterns to determine how the built environment influences criminal behavior and to diagnose crime hot spots. Also, the ProPhoenix public safety software program is assisting the Atlantic City Police Department in providing the information and statistics reports needed for CompStat to be successful. When possible, this information can be shared with city residents through community policing to help neighborhoods create community-led public safety strategies.

“The Atlantic City community deserves to have its city departments, including its police force, equipped with modern technology and strategies that have a proven track record of improving public safety and neighborhood well-being,” said DCA Division of Local Government Services Director Jacquelyn Suárez. “DCA is incredibly proud to be a partner on this clean and safe initiative and we look forward to the positive results it will bring to the people who live and work in Atlantic City, as well as those who visit the city’s many tourism attractions.”

“Through the leadership of Lt. Governor Oliver, and her staff of dedicated professionals working hand in hand with Mayor Small, his administration, and the members of City Council, we see anything is possible when we focus on the common goal of improving the lives of our working families,” said Chris Brown, Senior Advisor for Atlantic City Affairs. 

Today’s announcement is an example of the commitment the Atlantic City Police Department and DCA have toward utilizing an evidence-based response to addressing crime and crime trends. This strategic deployment of police personnel will coincide with a new police deployment plan that is being developed and anticipated to be implemented in the first quarter of 2023. It is also a further commitment to accountability and transparency. The deployment plan additionally utilizes the Risk Terrain Modeling developed in New Jersey by Rutgers University. 

“I personally reviewed the police deployment plan and am impressed with the staffing analysis and the focus on improving the Neighborhood Coordination Officer program, Special Improvement District program, and police surge units for special assigned areas such as Atlantic and Pacific avenues,” said Atlantic County Prosecutor William Reynolds. “A key takeaway from the deployment plan is success depends heavily on clear goals, committed leadership, and persistent follow-up.”

DCA has oversight over the City of Atlantic City under the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act (MSRA), which sets forth a procedure for the State to step in and assist municipalities facing financial instability. This oversight began in November 2016 and continues today with the passage of legislation last year that extends the State’s authority for an additional five years. 

DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, rental assistance, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, disaster recovery and mitigation, and information privacy.

For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: 

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Tammori Petty,
Lisa Ryan
ph#: 609-292-6055