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Beat by beat, street by street, Birmingham police use algorithms to fight crime in age of analytics

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 1334

Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Sep 07 2019 12:31 AM

It is the age of analytics, of metrics and algorithms and working smarter. It is the era of findings solutions in numbers, and letting those numbers lead to elusive answers.

It is data, Birmingham police believe, that will make the fight against crime smarter.

It’s not just about responding to calls and solving homicides. Criminal justice requires study and anticipation and analysis -- knowing how many shots are fired every day and where and when they were fired. It is about understanding where cars are broken into or vandalized, or where every assault took place.

You have to know the whole if you are to know the parts, and you have to know each part if you are ever to get your hands around the whole. So, Birmingham cops are demanding more of that. This year, the department has re-instituted Compstat, short for computerized statistics, and added in daily Crime Control meetings. And, though it is early in the process, the results are promising.


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