NEW BEDFORD — Michael Sloan likes to use data to solve puzzles.

In his new job as New Bedford Police Department's first crime analyst, those puzzles can save lives.

In his new job, Mr.  Sloan will convert data into patterns, recognizing and analyzing criminal activity to help police better utilize resources and target trends, with the goal of preventing crime.

“I am really excited to have Mr. Sloan as our first full-time crime analyst, especially considering his high level of education and experience in data analytics,'' Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro said.  "I look forward to the departmental progress and the impact that he will have on the utilization of our resources more effectively and efficiently. He is a great addition to our team. ”

Mr. Sloan is a native of New Zealand who moved to the Southcoast five years ago and to New Bedford two years ago.

He has a bachelor of arts degree in geography and political science from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; a bachelor of arts in human geography from Macquarie University in Australia and a Ph.D. in human geography from Macquarie University in Australia.

Prior to joining the New Bedford Police Department, he was an adjunct professor at Lasell College in Boston, where he developed a world geography course, focusing on globalization and human geography, and a GIS course utilizing project-based learning.

He also worked as an independent research and data analysis consultant, with clients including the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth and the New Bedford Health Department.

He said he has enjoyed studying data analysis and teaching it but is especially looking forward to using these skills in a hands-on way to improve the city where he lives and is raising a family.

 "Bringing skills to help the community, that's important,'' he said.

 New Bedford Police Department

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