‘Predictive Policing’ An Alternative To Cops ‘Driving Aimlessly’


Panelists at the IACP convention in Orlando this week touted “predictive policing” as an alternative to what Lincoln, Neb., Police Chief Tom Casady described as officers on patrol “driving around aimlessly waiting for something to happen.” With budget pressures increasing, Casady said, “I don't think this can last,” reports PoliceOne.com. Jim Mallard of the Arlington, Texas, Police Department said predictive policing is a strategy based on risk assessment, followed by allocation of police resources to address those risks. He compared it to predicting the weather or assessing credit risk.

“I think we can draw a lot from the business community, and credit scores are a good example,” said Mallard. “Credit reporting companies are really good at being able to predict who's a risk and who's not. They are able to determine who is most likely to pay their bills and who's not. We're talking about identifying behaviors and conditions that make it ripe for future crime to occur, and that's where weather comes in. We know that when a cold front and a warm front meet over a flat plain on a hot summer day that we might get thunderstorms. That doesn't mean we will get thunderstorms – it only means that the conditions are more ripe in that location than in other locations.”

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