Wartime technology used by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is making its way to U.S. cities, changing the way police investigate crimes by focusing them not where crimes have happened but where they most likely will happen next, reports the Washington Post. One of the latest, “geospatial predictive analytics,” has helped police chase copper thieves in Virginia and a strangler in Philadelphia and allowed them to deploy police smartly across the Washington, D.C., region during the mysterious shootings of military installations in 2010.
“We were able to use the information in a good way to save taxpayers money rather than haphazardly throwing things against the wall and seeing if it sticks,” said Capt. Steven Lambert of the Virginia Fusion Center, which coordinates statewide investigations, including the case of the five shootings at military buildings.When Yonathan Melaku was arrested at Arlington National Cemetery in the summer of 2011, months after he started his shooting spree, police had been expecting him there.They had analyzed hundreds of factors such as the gunman's sight lines, access points and escape routes. His escape route was particularly important; he stayed close to highways.