PredPol was created from a research project between the Los Angeles Police Department and UCLA. The chief of the department at the time, Bill Bratton, wanted to use the computer statistic data that was on hand for more than historical purposes. He wanted a type of software that could forecast potential crime locations so law enforcement could be better prepared. Since then, this research project has been shaped into a forecasting tool for several police departments in the United States and aboard. PredPol focuses on three data points in making predictions: past type of crime, place of crime and time of crime. There is no personal information about individuals or groups of individuals in the software. PredPol’s information can be accessed on any tech device and can be printed on paper. Additionally, it requires no new hardware or additional technical staff to run the software. This software is innovative because it is a forecasting tool for crime. It tells officers what type of crime is most likely to occur and where it may occur. This makes officers’s jobs a little bit easier since they can be more effective with preventing and stopping crime. Moreover, this software is easily accessible and does not take much training to use. So, new officers can learn this software really quickly. This is definitely a game changer for law enforcement. The only downside is since this software is expensive, not all police departments can afford it, which may deter some departments from making the purchase. However, this is definitely worth the investment.
PredPol pushes for law enforcement to engage the community that are in the predictive areas and tell their citizens that they are using PredPol. The Los Angeles’ Police Department has used PredPol to build lasting relationships between community residents and officers so more residents are willing to report a crime if they see one happening. Through this technology, trust has been built between community residents and police officers. More and more community residents are starting to understand that law enforcement needs their help in order to keep them safe. But this would not have happened unless trust was established.
For more information about PredPol, visit their website http://www.predpol.com/