Exit133 is about Tacoma

Predictive Policing for Tacoma

The Tacoma Police Department has invested in a new “Predictive Policing” program, or PredPol. PredPol technology uses statistics on past crime activity to predict where in the city a crime is likely to occur next. The PredPol website calls it “a tool to increase your odds of stopping crime.”

The system will use statistics on times and locations of property crimes like automobile theft, car prowling, and burglaries in Tacoma to predict where it expects those crimes to happen in the near future. Predictions can be narrowed down to a 500 square foot area and a two-hour window of time, and will be automatically updated every three hours.

The program was paid for in Tacoma using unspent funds from a previous federal grant. Details on the exact cost are not public, as the City worked out a deal for a reduced price for the service in exchange for serving as a guinea pig to demo the software for other municipalities in the region.

We are curious how we get from prediction to prevention without getting all Orwellian … Has anyone else read Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian?”


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Comments

Stefan

Police have been using this technology everywhere for hundreds of years. It’s called patrolling the areas that experience high crime, and it is simply common sense. What difference does it make if the predictions are being made by a computer or an experienced police officer?

February 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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nwcolorist

The computer predictions are only as good as the information that it receives from humans.

February 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Sid

Mapping crime data has been in existence for quite some time; it’s what helped the <span class=“caps”>NYPD</span> reduce crime in <span class=“caps”>NYC</span>.  Glad we will be incorporating a system here.  A structured method, however, should be reinforced with intuitive thinking in order for it to succeed.  Criminal intelligence plays an important role as well.  It will work and help us clean our streets.

February 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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SpED

There is much to talk about regarding the subject, but I will refrain and focus on only the implied question regarding predict vs prevent. Also, I’ll endeavor to address (partially) Stefan’s post simultaneously. The use of computers can be helpful in that they, given appropriate programming, harbor no bias. This, however, can not be said for the human beings that hold the positions of police officers, or any position for that matter. Note: we too are programmed in a way, but I digress. Throughout our our history human bias, most notably class and racial bias, has played a role in who receive services and who does not, as well as how severely and diligently crimes are prosecuted or not. I’m thinking specifically of America for these purposes, but recognize this is definitely not limited to ‘US’ only. For those that would argue that, “that was a long time ago”, I offer the following example: Only within the last year has the gross sentencing disparity between rock and powdered forms of cocaine been “addressed”. Now instead of 100 times stiffer penalty, the disparity is only 18 times, respectively. Ah, progress.

February 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Mofo from the Hood

Computerized predictions will never satisfactorily replace the human touch factor of conventional crystal ball technology.

February 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JJ

Want to know a simple tip on how to reduce property crimes like burglaries,automobile break ins/theft and broken windows.

Be proactive and you and your neighbors are less likely to be a victim.

Just get your neighbors involved,get some buckets and remove fist sized rocks (or any rock that could possibly break windows from being thrown) from your neighborhood,yards,streets and alleys.

You can dig a pit in your backyard to deeply bury them.I suppose one could get a rock crusher to recycle them into gravel that could be reused.

Small gravel and large too heavy to lift boulders are the exception.These are used to break windows either for vandalism and possible break ins.

It won’t solve all of the possible causes it just makes it harder for crooks,thugs and vandals (especially dumb kids).I have been doing this in my neighborhood and when I see a car that has broken windows there usually have been these offending rocks nearby.Remove them and you remove much of the the temptation.Some people use these rocks for landscaping but it’s a bad idea unless they are cemented in so they can’t easily be removed for throwing objects.

February 26, 2013 at 9:16 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

I’m using predictive modeling already!

I’ve noticed that every Tuesday night at precisely 5:30 PM a group of people meet up at 747 Market Street and conspire to ignore the city council mission statement requiring the provision of <span class=“caps”>COST</span> <span class=“caps”>EFFECTIVE</span> government services.

February 26, 2013 at 10:39 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Funny guy

Tom Cruise wants his movie plot back.

Related: Phillip K. Dick wants his story back.

February 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Susan Smith

Fred Davie – excellent point -especially when there are several other much, much more cost effective software programs available that do exactly the same thing.  Check out <span class=“caps”>ATACRAIDS</span> by <span class=“caps”>BAIR</span> Analytics, for one!

February 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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