Predictive Policing and the Use of COMPSTAT Essay

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IT uses data and algorithms to predict crimes in certain geographical hotspots in an effort to prevent potential crimes in those targeted areas. Traditional crime analytics uses a model of past events and place patrols and manpower in locations to curb crime rates in certain zones of a city or county. Law enforcement also still uses a reactive model in solving crimes that occur and make arrests based on investigations and evidence.
“Predictive policing entails becoming less reactive. “The predictive vision moves law enforcement from focusing on what happened to focusing on what will happen and how to effectively deploy resources in front of crime, thereby changing outcomes," writes Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police
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As a result, with major budget cuts, the past techniques have agencies spread too thin and their citizens left vulnerable.
COMPSTAT’s input includes past and present data and information gathered from crime and arrest reports as well as other statements and details given through the community. The information system’s algorithm processes, analyzes and searches for possible patterns, hotspots and suspects that were otherwise unknown.
“Accurate and timely intelligence (i.e., “Know what is happening.” (Godown, 2009)): In this context, crime intelligence relies on data primarily from official sources, such as calls for service, crime, and arrest data. This data should be accurate and available as close to real-time as possible. This crime and disorder data is used to produce crime maps, trends, and other analysis products. Subsequently, command staff uses these information products to identify crime problems to be addressed.” 3
The results or output from this operation is disseminated as alerts, bulletins, directives and maps to agency officers to deploy real time resources to the identified areas and potential trouble zones. Effective problem solving methods in the communities bear fruition in lower crime rates and public trust.
Public trust and their response, constant monitoring and tracking provide the critical feedback needed to keep COMPSTAT accurate and efficient. As with any information

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