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Seattle becomes next city to use crime prediction software

March 2, 2013
By: Mikael Thalen

Seattle has become the next city to start using crime prediction software. Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz announced that two precincts in the Southwest and East will begin using the software known as PREDPOL, short for “predictive policing.”

“The predictive policing software is estimated to be twice as effective as a human data analyst working from the same information. It’s all part of our effort to build an agile, flexible and innovative police department that provides the best service possible to the public,” said Diaz.

The program consists of a mathematical algorithm similar to the one used in earthquake prediction. Sociological informaton about criminal behavior and five years’ worth of past crime data is compiled to predict when and where a future crime will likely take place, down to a 500-square-foot area.

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