VIDEO: Cocoa Police Has New Tool Aimed At Predicting Crime Before It Happens
By Yvonne Martinez, Cocoa Police Department // October 24, 2015
improves ability to direct patrol resources
ABOVE VIDEO: Technology that tracks, maps and predicts crime trends is now being used by patrol officers as a tool to reduce the overall crime rate in the City of Cocoa. Predictive Policing, more commonly known as PredPol is cloud based software that enables law enforcement agencies to better prevent crime by generating predictions on the places and times that future crimes are most likely to occur.
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Technology that tracks, maps and predicts crime trends is now being used by patrol officers as a tool to reduce the overall crime rate in the City of Cocoa. Predictive Policing, more commonly known as PredPol is cloud based software that enables law enforcement agencies to better prevent crime by generating predictions on the places and times that future crimes are most likely to occur.
The program does this through constantly ingesting data on the number of calls for service, the times, locations and types of crimes police officers respond to.
It then translates the data into boxes or “hot zones” where patrol resources can be more efficiently and proactively deployed.
PredPol processes crime data in order to assign probabilities to future crime events within geographic regions and within specific times.
It also presents estimated crime risks in a useable format in order for law enforcement administrators to effectively and strategically deploy resources.
“We believe this will allow us to use our patrol resources more effectively,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe.
“By putting our officers inside these ‘hot zones’ we have a better chance of catching a crime in the act or, even better, preventing it from happening in the first place.”
The program uses three data points in making its predictions—past type of crime, place of crime and time of crime.
PredPol creators tout success stories from police agencies around the country including the City of Atlanta which according to PredPol data, saw aggregate crime decreased by eight percent and nine percent during its initial launch.
“It has its advantages without a doubt,” said Officer Brandon McIntyre who patrols the city’s north area.
“It forces the officers to go to particular areas, conduct patrol checks and getting yourself out there and talking with the people in the different neighborhoods. And that just causes the visibility to go up and less crime all together.”
It also showcased the results from the Norcross, Georgia Police Department where it reports a 15-30 percent reduction in burglaries and robberies just four months after deploying in August 2013.
“We are excited about the technology and are looking forward to seeing our crime rates drop here as well,” Chief Cantaloupe added.
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