GIS Maps developed to overlay
police calls for service

Shift+ Initiative

The YMCA of El Paso is working with the Alcohol Impact Network and the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to create a geographic information system (GIS) map that overlays police calls for service over the city’s alcohol retail outlets to have a visual representation of how alcohol outlet density and crime intersect.

Mapped were a total of 89,610 calls for services for disturbance, burglary, theft, harassment, mischief, narcotics, sexual assaults and robbery; and 1,270 alcohol outlets of which 520 were off-premises (such as liquor stores) and 698 were on-premises (such as bars). The calls for service occurred between June 2015 and December 2016. Based on a systematic review of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of regulating alcohol outlet density that was done for The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide), as well as other scientific studies, there is strong scientific evidence that addressing alcohol outlet density is one of the most effective strategies for reducing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.

Curbing Underage Drinking

“The mapping is in the final stages of development and we expect to begin network and policy analysis,” says Jeremy Jordan, the YMCA’s program manager for Shift+. “The mapping so far has identified five areas of town that have high alcohol density as well as significant numbers of police calls for service.

The data will be used to guide the Alcohol Impact Network toward the next policy steps for strategy recommendations and advocacy to address alcohol-related harms in our community.

The Alcohol Impact Network is comprised of members from El Paso Independent School District, MADD, Rio Grande Safe Communities, Aliviane Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, Victims Legacy, Unified Prevention Coalition, UTEP, and other local advocacy groups.

With data in hand, the Alcohol Impact Network has taken the areas with concentrations of outlet density and crime and conducted interviews of residents and business owners to garner feedback on the quality of life near outlets as well as first-hand observations of disturbances.

As the backbone organization for the Shift+ initiative, the YMCA’s primary responsibilities are to provide the subject matter expertise to the Alcohol Impact Network to advance the goals of reducing underage drinking, binge drinking, and create environments that contribute to reductions in underage drinking, binge drinking, and associated harms.