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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Future Crime in Oakland

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Jul 07, 2015 | 0 Comments

In the 2002 film, Minority Report, a specialized police department would arrest criminals before any crime was committed based on psychic predictions. While we don't expect psychics to put an end to due process anytime soon, crime prediction technology is already here. The City of Oakland has even proposed resources to PredPol, a software system that claims to be able to predict where and when future crimes will take place.

The mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, has budgeted over $150,000 for “predictive policing” software for the Oakland Police Department for the next two years. The company behind the software claims that the technology can map out where future crime is likely to occur. The Santa Cruz-based company PredPol, Inc., claims their cloud-based software, “enables law enforcement agencies to better prevent crime in their communities by generating predictions on the places and times that future crimes are most likely to occur.”

Oakland Police Officer Frank Bonifacio said no final decision has been made on the purchase of PredPol, but that the department has been in contact with the tech company to further research the software. The city council's public safety committee hasn't yet reviewed the proposal, and Mayor Schaaf has not responded to an information request by the East Bay Express about the software.

Not everyone is excited about the Mayor's decision to use PredPol technology. PredPol's website makes claims that their technology is scientifically proven. Meanwhile, others doubt the reliability of the new technology, saying the success is still unproven. A study by RAND analyzed effects of property crime prediction in Louisiana found that there was no statistically significant reduction in crime rates.

Oakland may be one of the early adopters of the new technology, but other California police departments are also in the early stages of working with the predictive policing technology including: Richmond; Modesto; Richmond; Santa Cruz; Alhambra and Los Angeles. Norcross and Atlanta, Georgia have also worked with PredPol software. Now, other police departments continue watching and waiting, before deciding whether to budget money towards PredPol tech.

However, Richmond's Police Chief Chris Magnus has decided not to continue with the program. While crime initially went down in Richmond, it is back on the rise. “We're seeing double digit increases,” said Magnus. Instead they will focus on their crime analysis, and through the familiarity of beat officers with the people in the areas they walk the beat.

Until crime predictive technology comes to the East Bay, the police will continue stopping vehicles and arresting drivers. If the police arrested you for a crime, it does not mean you have to be convicted. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing DUI and other criminal charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Lynn Gorelick will conduct an in-depth investigation, including obtaining all video and audio evidence. Call the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands how to get your DUI or other criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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