Crime fighting in Chicago just got smarter thanks to new technology and old-fashioned data. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced Friday the “latest piece of Chicago’s smart-policing strategy”, which includes new predictive technology and analytical tools to support police in preventing, combating and responding to violent crime in the city’s south and west sides. 

“Using state-of-the-art technology, our police department can better predict where officers should be deployed and better fight gun violence,” said Emanuel. 

Station-based Strategic Decision Support Centers are now operating in the 7th (Englewood) and 11th (Harrison) police districts, which are responsible for over a third of the city’s increase in homicides for 2016. Officers and analysts will integrate historical crime data, input from district-wide SpotShotter gunshot detection systems, POD crime cameras and mobile phone technology to reduce violence. 

Officers have also been provided smart phones with special software to receive real time updates. 

“This technology will allow them to have access to a wide variety of information at their fingertips and significantly cut down response times to shooting incidents, which can make the difference between life and death and can increase our chances of apprehending the offender,” Johnson said. 

Predictive policing has achieved success in other cities. NBC 5 Investigates explained in 2013 how police in Los Angeles utilized a system called PredPol to reduce targeted crimes by 12 percent.

Published at 5:37 PM CST on Jan 27, 2017 | Updated at 5:52 PM CST on Jan 27, 2017

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