Some Police Dumping Controversial Software That Predicts Crime With Data After Finding it Ineffective

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A tattoo shop owner shows LAPD Senior Lead Officers where cars have been burglarized on Sherman Way in Reseda. The officers patrol where a computer program predicts property crimes will occur. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A tattoo shop owner shows LAPD Senior Lead Officers where cars have been burglarized on Sherman Way in Reseda. The officers patrol where a computer program predicts property crimes will occur. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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The Los Angeles Police Department took a revolutionary leap in 2010 when it became one of the first to employ data technology and information about past crimes to predict future unlawful activity. Other departments around the nation soon adopted predictive policing techniques.

But the widely hailed tool the LAPD helped create has come under fire in the last 18 months, with numerous departments dumping the software because it did not help them reduce crime and essentially provided information already being gathered by officers patrolling the streets.

After three years, “we didn’t find it effective,” Palo Alto police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said. “We didn’t get any value out of it. It didn’t help us solve crime.”

The Mountain View, Calif., Police Department spent more than $60,000 on the program between 2013 and 2018.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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