Aug 17 2013

Predictive Policing

Santa Cruz’s Predictive Policing Results Inspire other Cities –

To call attention to their efficient new policing method of crime prevention, Santa Cruz held a “Predictive Policing Day” this week. Crime in Santa Cruz had increased by 30% when their Police Department lost 20% of its personnel in 2011.  After the first year using Predictive Policing, Santa Cruz Police reported a 19% reduction in burglaries and added predictions of bike thefts, battery, assault and prowling in late 2012. PCA reported on the new science of sophisticated algorithmic based Predictive Policing June 1.

San Francisco’s KGO reported on it Wednesday:

“…the software program has police in cities across the world calling Santa Cruz to inquire about how it works.

‘The software provides us analytics [that] take a look at where crimes are occurring, and [we put] officers in the places where we think they have the best opportunity to mitigate crime or problems,’ says Santa Cruz Police Chief Steve Clark.”

The algorithm was developed over six years by a team composed of University of California mathematics and anthropology professors from two campuses working with police and criminologists.  It incorporates the latest sociological studies of criminal behavior.

Los Angeles experimented with Predictive Policing in just one precinct—Foothill—for six months. At the end of the trial, the Police Department reported that burglaries in the Foothill precinct decreased 36 percent while crime rose across Los Angeles over the same period.

One Response to “Predictive Policing”

  1. The solution Piedmont has undertaken is the Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) with an initial cost approaching $700,000 plus the necessity of hiring a full-time non-sworn Police employee at $115,000 annually. The ALPRs according to Chief Goedde are not a crime deterrent; they operate more as a back end conviction tool. While a high conviction rate is desirable, the financial cost seems excessive. I would have preferred hiring more full-time officers.

    The Predictive Policing Software is a direct preventive tool for Police and a direct force multiplier aiding in more efficient use of Police resources. I suspect the cost of such software in Piedmont, given our small and homogenous population and small land-mass footprint, would be in the low end of such software of $25,000.

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