Criminal hot spots - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Criminal hot spots

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)--  Our technology has progressed "light years" and it just keeps getting more sophisticated.

"This actually takes it to a whole new level and says we're going to try to predict what crime may happen without you even realizing that it's going to occur in that location," says Lt. Mike Sadauskis of the Rochester Police Department.

By the end of summer, the Rochester Police Department will be running IBM's analytics software called InfoSphere Identity Insights, bringing the next evolution in police work to our streets.

The goal is going to be to look at past crime patterns and make future analysis predictions of where they will be in the future.

The IBM software has the capability of predicting where officers should be. to get them in the right place at the right time. Literally anticipating crime and helping connect the dots between criminals, hot spots and time.

"Often times we deal with people in the criminal world who use aliases- they use multiple different names and so each time they use a different name it shows up in our computer as an individual record, well this type of system will be able to extract that information and verify in fact all these different people are in fact one person where right now it may look like there's six or seven," explains Lt. Sadauskis. 

Nearly two years ago the Rochester Police Department adopted the so-called "intelligence-led" policing policy. It's essentially profiling the small percentage of criminals who are responsible for nearly 80 percent of crimes, better allocating resources.

Defense Attorney Gary Gittus comments, "If you're engaged in some criminal activity you should be worried that there might be some intervention going on, whether it be wire-tapping, cell phone-checking or Intel-check."

Gittus believes Intel-policing and the new system might go too far in profiling certain people. He questions whether civil liberties are being infringed upon as people are targeted.

The computer-based InfoSphere Identity Insights software takes existing information that the department has on offenders and organizes it in a way that officers can easily see who's who and who might be doing what.

"Before these computer programs were around good police officers knew who the prolific offenders were and as they saw those people in the community they would keep an eye on them and this kind of does the same thing," adds Lt. Sadauskis.

Police suggest that this sophisticated technology may actually help eliminate human bias. Our Rochester crime-fighters want to use their knowledge of past behavior to predict future behavior -- and stop criminals in their tracks.

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