Monday, March 3, 2008

Prelude to spring

Global warming or not, it's been a rather cold winter in Lincoln. Records are available for 120 years, and as of now, the winter of 2007-2008 ranks as the 21st coldest, with a mean temperature of 23.2F.

I've described how police work is weather sensitive in previous posts, and this past weekend was a pretty good example. We hit 50 on Friday, and 67 on Saturday--22 degrees above the normal high of 45 on March 1st. It was the warmest weekend of the winter (despite that chilly rain on Sunday afternoon). Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we dispatched police officers to a total of 1,107 incidents. Here are a few examples:

Assault 33
Child Abuse 21
Burglary 9
Narcotics 20
Disturbance 210

By comparison, on the weekend of January 18, 19, and 20th we handled 842 dispatched incidents--30% fewer. The temperature dipped below zero all three days that weekend. which tends to put a damper on the festivities.

This past weekend's 1,107 incidents may have been a prelude to spring, but it's nothing compared to a really busy summer weekend, like this one, with 1,544 dispatches.


Anonymous said...

I kid you not, that's the second thing I thought about when I went outside on Saturday afternoon. It was nice, but I knew it would be a busier time at the dispatcher desk (and likewise at the cruisers) because of it. How early did detox close on Saturday?


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Anonymous said...

A young man goes shopping for a present for his sister’s birthday. He looks for a book at the bookshop. Then he goes to the clothes shop. In the music shop, he finds the present that he wants. But when the young man sees that they are not real policemen, it is too late. Two real policemen see what is happening and come and arrest him.
He drops the CDs and puts his hands up. The ‘policemen’ don’t understand. They are two actors in A police film. He finds three great CDs, but he hasn’t got the money to buy all three. He puts the CDs in his bag and walks out of the shop. Outside the shop, he sees two policemen on horses. He is so scared that he doesn’t see a man with a camera filming them. He thinks the policemen are real.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, I heard dispatch say Detox was closed around 2100hrs. The bike guys like to fill it up early.

David said...

Chief, first time poster here. I really enjoy your insights and appreciate the effort you put in.

This one weekend comparison is interesting- have you compared weather/temperature with crime over a longer period- say year or years? Is it even possible to do so with your data?

Tom Casady said...


Thanks for the comment.

I actually started to do that, using the historic temperature data on the High Plains Regional Climate Center's site linked in my post.

t got a little time consuming, and I gave up on it. This would make a great project for somebody in needs of a thesis or a grad-level research methods course. I've got crime day-by-day, the HPRCC has temp and precipitation day by day.

The month by month data makes the weather phenomenon pretty apparent, but other things (like football, school year) impact monthly data. The best evidence would be comparisons that control for everything other than weather. It would also be interesting to compare cities in different climates.