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Can Departments Predict Crimes Before They Occur?

Can Departments Predict Crimes Before They Occur?

In this photo taken from video Dec. 31, 2010, Chicago Police superintendent Jody Weis is seen during an interview with the Associated Press in Chicago. [AP]

Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix

January 21, 2011

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.

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 officials say.

That got police Supt. Jody Weis thinking.

He 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.

The solution: Weis is now consolidating the department’s various intelligence-gathering units under his direct command to improve the flow of information.

The Deployment Operations Center, which gathers gang intelligence, will move into his office from the Bureau of Investigative Services.

The “DOC,” created in 2003, tracks human intelligence on gangs and holds a daily conference call with department leaders to decide where to deploy roving teams of officers.

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.

The center is staffed with representatives of the Chicago Police Department and federal and state agencies. They have access to the city’s video surveillance system and various law enforcement databases.

The Predictive Analytics Group was already in the superintendent’s office.

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.

The Predictive Analytics Group, which sorts through crime statistics and demographic data, was formed by Weis last spring.

At the time, the department was generating weekly citywide intelligence reports on violent crime and identifying “hot spots” of more than a square mile.

Weis said the goal of the Crime Analytics Group was to produce twice-a-day intelligence reports concentrating on smaller hot spots.

Nine months later, that’s been accomplished, said Goldstein, who said his unit also is working with detectives to identify robbery patterns.

Goldstein said he expects the intelligence reports will eventually go out more often than twice a day “as we move closer to real-time architecture.”

But the science behind the reports remains a mystery. Goldstein won’t give specifics on how his unit makes its predictions or identify the targeted areas, saying he does not want to tip off criminals.

Weis’ $310,000-a-year contract expires in March, but Mayor Daley has said he intends to keep him until the next mayor takes office in May. Weis is pushing ahead with the intelligence consolidation and other changes even though none of the mayoral candidates has indicated a desire to keep him as top cop.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Let’s look back “2011 Love Warning” Prophet YunFeng mentioned on Jan 1, 2011.

    1. The world weather disasters will happen frequently.

    2."Earthquake Happen Frequently" continually, strong earthquakes will happen frequently.

    3. The politics will not steady in the world.

    4."Terroristic act" higher enough that before

    Almost that relative news was reported by news agency every day. Last several years, Prophet YunFeng mentioned air accidents and air crashes. Air plane fell down one by one. This year, he did not say about that. Those air crashes just happen a little bit.

    At the same as politics problem, world weather disasters happen frequently will make future price increasing, earthquake happen frequently will make estate price decreasing, and so on.

    Now, do you understand the value of “2011 Love Warning”?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Deeply Disclose Prophet YunFeng’s Predictions

  • Telecommunicator_rusch_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Hmmm, I predict robberies and mayhem in LA and NYC and oh, um... BF Egypt? Not so much! Ridiculous!

  • 309


    over 3 years ago


    I'm sorry but it's not hard to predict if or where a shooting will occur in Chicago.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Something smells....
    I would sure like to see that 310 k spent on the officers that do the real work...

  • Newpatch_sq90_max50


    over 3 years ago


    In Chicago a shooting happens every minute anyway. HELLO!

    Hocus Pocus, BS, BS, BS

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Now one thing I cannot abide by is a coward, especially a coward that wears the uniform. I have only seen one that showed hinmself to be a coward and we ran him off within a month of the display of cowardice. You do not want to jump to conclusions with a charge like that but once you are certain, you run them the hell off.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Pic-0239_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Yea, I'm thinking....cough bullshit cough.

  • To_serve_and_protect_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Jodi never did "his time" on the street, keep reading your books Jodi!

  • Justice-400_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Load of crap. From the cpd officers I have talked to, Weis is a joke who has ruined the CPD. This guy came from the FBI and was never a Chicago Police Officer, and was then put in charge of the 3rd largest department in the US. He wasted millions of dollars on this Crime Analytics Group that tell police that a crime will take place at a certain time and location based on previous crime stats. So Weis sends a large number of officers to the predicted location, and don't be fooled what I'm about to say, no crime happens at that predicted location. Then Weis claims that the CPD has this great tool for stopping crime. No shit that a crime is not going to happen where there are police officers standing and waiting. Does a zebra ever walk into a pride of lions? However, what this article does not say is that while the police are stationed at one location waiting for a crime that a COMPUTER PREDICTED, another shooting happens 3 blocks away and it takes more time to get officers to that scene. Jody Weis is called J-Fled by many Chicago officers. I believe in his 1st year as superintendent he was doing a press conference and shots were fired a few blocks away. Weis then stopped the press conference and ran to his body guards and was driven in the opposite direction of the crime. A real Chicago cop (not this FBI guy) would of been first on the scene whether it was a first year cop, or superintendent.

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Sometimes new tech actually works and I say we need to look at it and give it a fair look. ANYTHING that helps us do our job and be safe is worth looking at with an iopen mind.
    As for the other comments that are off topic. Don't care.

  • 20552_1343137337912_1215571721_31006460_5991340_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Delox77, we have to destress throughout the day. If an officer needs to talk to another officer, then I say do it. Nobody wants a stressed out officer riding through their neighborhood. If you work the job and you don't take an opportunity to take a break, then you are bottling up the emotions you have and eventually they'll burst. As far as, having a spreedsheet and a pink pen, I'll take my instincts (which have lead to numerous apprehensions of crimes in progress) anyday.

  • Suit_max50


    over 3 years ago


    So riddle me this, will Simon Phoenix find a hide out and set up a crime syndicate or will he go for a gun?

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