Elgin Illinois police invest in crime predicting software

Posted on Aug 11, 2014

In Elgin, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, the local police department is turning to new police technology to improve its crime fighting abilities, the Chicago Daily Herald reported.

In Elgin Illinois the police department is using predictive crime mapping software to help  reduce crime

The movement toward better police technology came after a suspect stole four old model vehicles more than a month ago from neighborhoods in Elgin with a tow truck. According to the source, the police decided to use GPS technology on a "bait car" and simply waited for the suspect to bite.

The area wasn't what prompted the police to stash the car and wait for the suspect, however, it was from police data that was able to give a time frame and 500-foot box location where the next crime would happen.

Predictive crime map technology is increasing in the U.S., and more departments are seeing success from the data given. According to the source, the Intelligent Data Portal (IDP) technology has helped officers with risk-profile data, which collected information about specific addresses and can alert officers who are on patrol.

The computer software goes through all the data associated with criminal records and other pieces of information to give officers real-time information, the source reported.

Elgin can invest in police technology once again

In 2007 and 2008, the Elgin police department and the City Council were dealing with severe budget cuts to get through the recession, the Courier News reported. However, since the economy has rebounded, the city's budget is now $279.6 million, which is 0.7 percent above the spending in 2013.

Mayor David Kaptain explained that it's a positive movement for the city's budget and how they can invest the money to ensure better public safety, the source reported.

"We made painful cuts in personnel and programs at the beginning of the recession in 2007-2008," said Kaptain, according to the Courier News. "We have made some moves to become more efficient such as consolidating events, increased use of technology and the 311 program."

The increased budget has allowed the Elgin police to invest in more predictive crime technology. The computer system uses a formula that studies previous crime locations and times, the Daily Herald reported.

"It is nice to just to have the information at your fingertips," said Carpentersville Cmdr. Tim Bosshart, of the Kane County Police Department, according to the source.

The police department can rely more on its officers' gut instincts with the predictive crime fighting technology.

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