This week, Scientific American came out with an article about the new Police Data Initiative that has researchers and police departments studying predictive analytics to try and improve the effectiveness of officer early warning systems meant to reduce the number of deadly police-civilian encounters.
Large police departments have used early warning systems for decades to flag officers whose behavior may lead to unnecessarily violent confrontations. But these systems have been crude up to now.
The new Police Data Initiative will employ statistical tools, machine learning, and predictive analytics to identify officers who may need interventions such as additional training or counseling.
In something of a first, California, Texas, and other states will share law-enforcement data with outside data scientists who hope to determine whether historical data about an officer’s performance can be used to predict future behavior.
Read the full story here.
Police departments are also using data science in other ways, such as to track and capture criminals, and even to prevent crime before it happens. The Smart Policing initiative in use by dozens of police departments across the country analyzes trends and geographic patterns to help identify likely crime areas.
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