New Orleans Data-Informed Community Engagement

Focusing on Places That Drive Crime.

The New Orleans Data Informed Community Engagement (N.O.D.I.C.E.) Program and the use of Risk Terrain Modeling represent the evolution of public safety and prevention, offering an expanded continuum of crime prevention tools. N.O.D.I.C.E. utilizes modern technology to identify vulnerable areas and employs data-driven resource deployment to address pressing community needs.

N.O.D.I.C.E. guides decision-making and action by focusing on and prioritizing public safety, quality of life, and economic development resources in areas of highest need. In essence, these initiatives aim to make conditions on the ground less conducive to criminal activity by optimizing community engagement methodologies. This strategy is already aiding system partners in better allocating our precious resources to areas where data indicate they will yield the greatest impact.

What is Risk Terrain Modeling?

Posted by Simsi Team on February 4, 2021

Risk terrain modeling (RTM) is risk assessment for places. It’s a data analysis technique. And, it’s a diagnostic tool. When used for crime analysis, RTM identifies environmental conditions that contribute to crime problems. Different crime incident locations can have common underlying causes. That is, events may be unrelated, but attractive settings for them may share similar qualities. RTM sheds light on why crimes pattern the way they do. It puts the focus on places, not people.

RTM analyzes the spatial patterns of crime incidents by linking the built environment to criminal behaviors that result in crime outcomes. Raw crime data becomes more meaningful. Diagnosing crime patterns with RTM lets you accurately anticipate where and why problems will emerge or persist.

A map of the eight Districts each OPDA District Screener is assigned to.

RTM is not Predictive Policing.

Posted by Simsi Team on February 13, 2021

Risk terrain modeling (RTM) is a diagnostic tool for crime prevention, it’s not a predictive algorithm. The only true measure of successful predictions is for crimes to occur where predicted, which is not in the public’s best interest. Predictive policing algorithms rely on past crime incidents to predict new crime events. If crimes are prevented, these algorithms won’t have enough input data and will stop working, or worse, they’ll become misleading.

RTM encourages effective and sustainable prevention efforts and directs its analysis to dynamic conditions of the environment where crime events could occur. RTM focuses on geography, not the event.

RTM adds context to raw crime data, and is designed to help you understand and explain the reasons why crimes happen where they do. RTM diagnostics forge confidence in decisions to deploy resources to places most in need of crime prevention programming and services. This can involve multiple community stakeholders — beyond police, and encompass a wide range of activities to protect people and properties from various dangers affecting their general well-being.

Andy Horn took a role in the private sector with a public-safety technology company, managing new and emerging markets. In mid-2023, Andy joined Simsi to head their Growth team, supporting the community interest in the adoption of risk terrain modeling and DICE(TM) methodology.

Simsi Representative, Andy Horn

Data-Informed Community Engagement (DICE)

The six principles of DICE are:

1. Convene local stakeholders, including police and law enforcement officials, to a data-informed discussion.

2. Democratize the use of data and analytics with a focus on place-based analytics.

3. Solicit and value input from community stakeholders, including law enforcement, businesses, and local government about situational crime contexts, preferred outcomes, and performance measures.

4. Make data-informed decisions following a transparent process of problem definition, information gathering, and analysis.

5. Mobilize community resources and expertise to problem-solve the most pressing crime issues.

6. Empower community organizations to become co-producers of public safety.

Data-informed community engagement (DICE) uses ‘RTM‘ to diagnose crime problems, form risk narratives, and develop place-based strategies to disrupt the narratives with coordinated responses by multiple stakeholders and resources.

DICE strategies share the burden of crime prevention and public safety among multiple stakeholders who deliver a variety of resources to places that need them most.

OPDA Chief of Screening Andre Gaudin, Jr. said, “The DA’s Office is utilizing technology to improve efficiency and make the most of limited city resources. The RTM system focuses on areas that are prone to crime and takes into account geographical and urban elements that contribute to criminal activity. This helps law enforcement agencies and stakeholders understand the risk of victimization in different parts of the city. By gathering data from various sources, including city agencies, blighted properties, and local businesses, the RTM system allows for a more sophisticated approach to public safety than just traditional police work. The system is supported by DICE and is designed to make data collection more accessible and democratic, helping to maximize resources and support partners at NOPD.”

District Attorney Jason Williams said, “Simply put, these are the tools and force multipliers we need to increase safety and deliver justice in the criminal legal system of New Orleans. My office acknowledges the changing criminal patterns in our city and fully supports the use of technology to combat violent crime in our community. We have to take the next steps and be ahead of the game with the help of motivated leadership and community partners to put game-changing ideas into action that will help our office in identifying the root causes of crime, being specific about the individuals that are arrested and making sure we can secure guilty verdicts in court without reasonable doubt. The fact of the matter is that the criminal element and perpetrators of violent crime have embraced technology at a clip faster clip than anticipated, but our solution is having more players in this fight and being strategic about it. I believe that using the District Screener Unit and implementing Risk Terrain Modeling is like having better-equipped players on the field, helping us reduce crime by identifying problem areas with the community’s help.”

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office provided a public update on its next steps building on the success of “Operation Big Easy”, a sweeping multi-jurisdictional enforcement operation focused on weapons and narcotics in the region. “Operation Big Easy” made momentous strides in disrupting organized crime, resulting in 41 indictments and the confiscation of over 70 firearms.

The DA’s office has successfully shuttered a problematic business establishment that has long been associated with criminal activity. DA’s office has shut down 1201 Bienville St., also known as the New Image Market and the prior proprietor has been mandated to renounce all claims to the property.

District Attorney Williams emphasized the methodical strategy behind the effort, stating, “This is ‘chess, not checkers’. This operation was a checkmate in a single board clearing move. It took out Kings, Knights, Bishops, and Rooks at one time. This is what being progressive looks like. Being smart on crime, by not only making key arrests that will be aggressively prosecuted but also going after and targeting the sites and hubs for criminal activity. This is truly crime prevention, which leads to our ultimate goal of creating a safer city.”

One former NOPD officer said that the location has been a hotbed of criminal activity since 1982, when he was assigned to the area and the site had never relented until now.

DA Williams Announces Shut-down of Local Establishment, known as an Epicenter for criminal activity since the 1980’s



NODICE x Claiborne Ave.


Tackling and preventing crime in the communities most impacted by it, that’s what the DA’s office is doing with a new community initiative called “NODICE.”

Watch the 2-Part NODICE WDSU Interview Below



NODICE x The Roots of Music


Historic Victory for Treme Neighborhood: NODICE Initiative Leads Successful Seizure of Crime-Infested Tire Shop

OPDA Partners with NOPD, ATF to Seize Business at Center of Crime, Nuisance at 1201 N. Claiborne Avenue

New Orleans, LA – The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Joint Taskforce, has successfully seized and shuttered a notorious crime center at 1201 N. Claiborne Avenue. This operation marks a major victory for the Treme Neighborhood and the historic Claiborne Corridor.

The seized location had long been a source of crime, quality of life violations, and community outcry. This operation was a comprehensive collaboration aimed at relieving the community of a repeated bad actor who was driving up violent crime, property crime, and drug crimes.

“This isn’t just about shutting down a business. It’s about listening to the people who have lived here for generations and following the data to achieve better outcomes. We are proud to deliver on a promise and reclaim this area for the historic Treme community,” stated District Attorney Williams.

District Attorney Williams expressed appreciation for the unified effort that led to this achievement. “Standing here today, I am proud to be shoulder to shoulder with colleagues, partners, and the community who have all contributed to this significant victory for the Treme Neighborhood and this historic corridor. Our Data Informed Community Engagement (NODICE) initiative worked closely with the ATF and NOPD Joint Taskforce, leading a thorough investigation of this tire shop, culminating in arrests and its seizure yesterday at approximately 9:30 am.”

The NODICE initiative, a key crime reduction unit of the District Attorney’s Office, is data-driven and supported by a multidisciplinary team.

Daniel Shanks, who serves as the OPDA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and leads the NODICE effort, spoke about the success of this operation. “This location was a known haven for criminal activity. The data showed it was one of the riskiest places in New Orleans. You were 28 times more likely to be a victim of crime at the corner of Claiborne and Esplanade. When we looked at the actual crimes that were occurring in this corridor, we found that over 46% of the incidents were coming from the 1200 block of Claiborne – where we stand today.”

Shanks heaped praise on the invaluable partners who made this effort a reality. Crediting the leadership and smart policing of 1st District Captain Kendrick Allen and his team (including Officers Kyle Hinrichs and James Weir) and ATF Agents Craig Blair and Tim Jones, who guided the operation and were represented by ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ford during the press conference.

In addition to the major boon from law enforcement, Shanks credited Rep. Knox for his focus and leadership in the Treme neighborhood that garnered support for this effort, as well as other key contributors like City of New Orleans Homeless Services Director Nate Fields, Code Enforcement Director Anthony Davis, and Claiborne Innovation District President Nyree Jones. There were also a host of residents and support staff on the ground who devoted their time, energy, and knowledge to this effort who deserve immense credit.

DA Williams closed, sharing the importance of this form of prevention work as a necessary part of public safety: “We can prosecute every arrest and work our hardest to bring justice in every case, but we won’t truly change our city and make an impact until we change facts on the ground and give every community their due support by cutting the cancers out.

This multiagency, multidiscipline partnership is a firm commitment from us all to do just that.”