…the presence of the police officers in the garage that Friday afternoon in July was anything but ordinary: They were directed to the parking structure by a computer program that had predicted that car burglaries were especially likely there that day. The program is part of an unusual experiment by the Santa Cruz Police Department in predictive policing — deploying officers in places where crimes are likely to occur in the future.
In July, Santa Cruz began testing the prediction method for property crimes like car and home burglaries and car thefts. So far, said Zach Friend, the police department’s crime analyst, the program has helped officers pre-empt several crimes and has led to five arrests.
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