Alexandra Ciomek

2015 Rappaport Public Policy Doctoral Summer Fellow

May 1, 2015
Alexandra Ciomek
Graduate Degree: Harvard University
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania
Area of Interest: Criminal Justice Issues
Mentors: David Friedman, Boston Red Sox and James Barrett, Wrentham Police Department
Agency: Boston Police Department
Supervisor: David Carabin, Director of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center
Project Description: Alexandra’s fellowship was at the Boston Regional Intelligence Center at the Boston Police Department. She worked on evaluating the utility of Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) as a crime analysis and prediction tool for the Boston Police Department. RTM involves analyzing the features of places to identify areas that are most conducive to crime. This can be used as a method to predict crime that goes beyond being based primarily on past crime patterns. Using statistical and mapping software, she worked with the BRIC to identify and map conditions of social space that are correlated with crime problems and show which areas of Boston are most vulnerable. These analyzes helped identify spatial factors that are most related to crime, which not only helps the BPD identify areas in need of greater police attention, but also can help give them more information as to what the BPD can do to change these factors. With the BRIC, she compared the effectiveness of RTM compared to the usual hot spots analyses and determined there was added value in identifying the exact conditions that can affect crime, which can help the BPD in formulating a plan to reduce it in the most vulnerable areas of the city.