The idea of PredPol is that if officers focus their attention on an area that’s slightly more likely to see a crime committed than other places, they will reduce the amount of crime in that location.
While it may seem strange to have a multinational corporation ostensibly defending Americans against improper searches from the government, stranger yet is that police want to be at the forefront of a debate on civil liberties.
Conjuring images of the dystopian short story Minority Report, Microsoft is developing a new program it says can accurately predict which inmates will wind up back in jail within six months of release.
Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA and the UN's Strong Cities Network with its globalized police forces, the National Security Agency's far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.
Can computers, fancy mathematics, and big data predict crime, even predict who will commit murder? Attention to factors like previous arrests and unemployment processed through sophisticated software has allowed police to target those at highest risk.
As some New Yorkers start to wonder if the appointment of Bratton wasn't a remarkably stupid idea, the sum of the de Blasio and Bratton era paints a picture that ought to put to rest the idea that New York has substantively reformed the NYPD.