It was a bit like a scene from “Minority Report,” the 2002 Tom Cruise movie that featured genetically altered humans with special powers to predict crime, says the Chicago Sun-Times. In October, the Chicago Police Department's new crime-forecasting unit was analyzing 911 calls for service and produced an intelligence report predicting a shooting would happen soon on a particular block on the South Side. Three minutes later, it did.
Police Superintendent Jody Weis wondered if the department could produce intelligence reports even quicker. Next time, officers might have an hour's notice before a shooting instead of just a few minutes. Weis is consolidating the department's intelligence-gathering units under his direct command to improve the flow of information. The so-called 24-hour “fusion center,” which opened in 2007, also will move under the superintendent's office. The fusion center is one of dozens that opened across the country in response to a 911 report that called for better sharing of federal, state and local intelligence on terrorism. Brett Goldstein, director of predictive analytics, said the change will allow his office to send out intelligence reports more quickly. “We're running against a clock,” he said.