CBS Atlanta featured PredPol on their evening new program – the segment highlighted the recent deployment in Norcross, Georgia and the early successes seen with the program. Here is the link.
New computer software is helping Norcross police officers patrol the city in a new way, based on historical crime reports, time of day and weather patterns.
The software is called Predictive Policing, known simply as Pred-Pol.
“It’s predicting the highest probable location so that we can better allocate where our resources are being deployed to,” said Lt. Bill Grogan of the Norcross Police Department.
They paid $6,000 to have the software tailored to their department. The program was developed by a group of professors at UCLA and takes into account the most recent 18 months of local police data, helping officers identify certain areas that are more at risk on some days than others.
Some of the areas are known for high crime rates. Others, said Grogan, come as a surprise to officers who normally would not think to spend extra time there looking for criminal activity.
“These areas you may not have thought of,” said Grogan, referencing a map with small red squares on it, highlighting potentially problematic spots. “Specifically, the success we had the first day it was implemented was exactly one of those locations, where the officers would not have been there. No doubt about it, their words, they would not have been there had it not been for this prediction.”
On that first day of using Pred-Pol, Aug. 9, Grogan said one of his patrol units was already in one the neighborhoods that had been denoted by a red box. There, they were able to apprehend a suspect while he was in the midst of committing burglary, according to Grogan.
“I was baffled,” he said. “I could not have ever anticipated that we would have had such a quick success. And not only that one success, but two in the same day.”
Grogan said his officers will likely only spend a few extra minutes per day in the areas that are marked by the red boxes, which denote areas that are roughly 500 square feet in size.