June 29, 2011

Department's Predictive Policing Program Featured on KSBW

The Santa Cruz Police Department has teamed up with Dr. George Mohler of Santa Clara University to be  one of the first agencies in the country to apply predictive policing to our patrol patterns. What is predictive policing? Put simply, it is the belief that certain types of crimes (like vehicle burglaries) do not occur randomly. In other words, with enough data a model could actually predict where a future crime would occur.

Dr. Mohler, working with colleagues from southern California, developed a model that uses similar methods to those that predict earthquake aftershocks. Dr. Mohler met with Chief Kevin Vogel, Crime Analyst Zach Friend and Deputy Chief Rick Martinez and Deputy Chief Steve Clark to develop structure that would work in Santa Cruz.

The Santa Cruz Police Department, and soon Los Angeles Police, will be the first in the nation to apply this specific model. In test cases we've run on the data it has been quite successful. The department will run a 6-month trial on the program starting July 1st.

KSBW did a feature story on our program- you can watch the video here.