Predictive Policing: Law Enforcement and Technology
Since 2009, the idea of predictive policing, or the use of advanced statistical analysis and data to make policing decisions, has become widely used in the United States. Predictive policing is the perfect tool to help Law enforcement agencies become more efficient as budgets continue to be reduced. “With predictive policing, we have the tools to put cops at the right place at the right time or bring other services to impact crime, and we can do so with less,” (Gascón 2009). On the other hand, predictive policing will hold officers accountable for tackling and decreasing crime and those who fail to do so could have adverse effect on his\her career (Willis, Mastrofski & Weisburd, 2003). COMPSTAT, also short for computer statistics, is a system which implements the four basic information system (IS) functions which are input, processing, output, and feedback. Although the application of information technology has been able to help reduce crime, it is quite different than random patrol tactics used by police departments. To successfully compare and contrast the use of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus unplanned street patrols, we have to look at exactly what IT is offered to police now. The definition to predictive policing is given as “any policing strategy or tactic that develops and uses information and advanced analysis to inform forward-thinking crime prevention”. COMPSTAT, as an information system (IS), implements the four basic IS functions as follows: The input function data is gathered and entered into the database. This is the building block of COMPSTAT it contains information compiled from various sources like police incident reports, arrest reports, suspect briefing report, phone calls, and field interview reports. The keying the input data into the Incident Reporting System where it is maintain as a database for future reference. Crime...
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