Predictive policing: A force multiplier for cash-strapped police departments

Deltek Sr. Analyst Jeff Webster reports.

With Crime Prevention Month coming to a close, we take the opportunity to highlight another method of preventing crime: predictive policing. This is a fairly new method of crime prevention that has been picking up steam the past few years. The basic concept of predictive policing is built on statistics and crime data. When this data is combined with statistical analysis tools, agencies can better pinpoint hot spots for crime. The statistical analysis software provides insight into the different dynamics of crime within a specific location. When used effectively, this tool can allow an agency to better manage its personnel, time, and resources. Not only does it improve efficiencies within the agency, it also acts as a force multiplier for cash-strapped agencies.

So, who is using this technology? Several agencies in cities across the country are using different forms of predictive policing. For example, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Baltimore have all implemented comparative statistics (COMSTAT) into their work processes. This form of predicative policing involves the comparing of events, crimes, and locations to get a better understanding of how and why crime happens. It also focuses on identifying the drivers behind crime. Based on these analytics, the agency can deploy officers to areas that are prone to crime.

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