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Meet the Staff: Erica Raleigh, Public Safety Analyst

by Louis Bach, Communications

D3’s data systems project manager and public safety analyst, Erica Raleigh, has been with the organization for nearly its entire existence. She was hired in early 2009 to compile the One D scorecard; since then, she has managed and contributed to projects including Detroit Kids Data, the Center for Michigan scorecard, the Woodward Corridor Initiative, and D3’s internal Data Management Enhancement.

During that period, Erica completed the Master of Urban Planning program at Wayne State University. The program culminated with the development of her thesis, “Crime and Vacant, Open, and Dangerous Housing.” It uses a block-by-block analysis to determine the relationship between vacant, open, and dangerous (VOD) housing and different types of crime.

Raleigh found that some types of crime (e.g. robbery, vandalism, and assault) but not others (e.g. burglary) were strongly correlated with VOD housing. It was only the second study conducted to examine VOD housing specifically and find that it correlated with crime more strongly than vacant housing alone. “Data was the fun part,” said Erica of her writing process. “Developing the theory was crucial, but it was more onerous.”

“I like being able to ask a question and then attack it,” she says, “so being paid to do research at D3 is my ideal job.”

One response to “Meet the Staff: Erica Raleigh, Public Safety Analyst”

  1. Wilfred Okafor says:

    Dear Erica,
    congratulations on your success at work and school. Winning the Galster Prize as the top graduating MUP student is a huge achievement. Your thesis on neighborhood crime and public safety has a significant implication for community development and policy planning. I learned about Data Driven Detroit last year from Magazine and Newspaper articles. There is no doubt that your organization is making a huge contribution to the revitalization and the resurgence of our beloved Motor City–DETROIT. By the way, I am an urban scholar with graduate training in Regional Planning and Public Policy Analysis. I plan to talk with you all one of these days.
    Thanks! Best wishes and good luck.