Monday, August 11, 2014

Town Square Park research project by Dr. Payne featured in Alaska Dispatch News

Town Square Park during "It's Hip To Be Square" week.
The Town Square Park research project by Dr. Troy Payne, Justice Center faculty,  in collaboration with the Anchorage Police Department was featured on the front page of the Alaska Dispatch News on August 8.

The online version of the article can be viewed below:
"University uses social experiment to study Town Square Park behaviors" by Devin Kelly. Alaska Dispatch News, 7 Aug 2014.

Dr. Payne and student researcher Daniel Reinhard have been observing activity in the Town Square Park as part of a crime study for the Anchorage Police Department (APD).  APD Chief Mark Mew had made safety in the part one of his priorities.  Local businesses had noted disorder in the park and were concerned about safety. Dr. Payne will be completing a report later this year for APD analyzing the results of the crime survey. Violent crime is not rampant in the park, but there are issues of chronic inebriates and disorderly conduct.

The article notes: “Nobody really likes to hear this, but there’s no magic bullet when it comes to crime and disorder problems,” Payne said. “What it’s probably going to take is a little bit of design change in the park, a little bit of change in how the park is used, plus the citizens of Anchorage wanting to take the park back and really engaging in the park.”

L to r: Dr. Troy Payne, APD Chief Mark Mew, and
student researcher Daniel Reinhard observe activity in the park
from windows in the upper level of Performing Arts Center.