Chicago Police Cut Crime with Major Upgrades to Analytics and Field Technology

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is deploying predictive and analytic tools after seeing initial results and delivering on a commitment from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a bureau chief said recently.

The issue, as the mayor said during his 2018 Annual Budget Address on Oct. 18, is how best to ensure that a rise in shootings and murders dating to 2015 continues to decline. Emanuel emphasized and police officials agree that using the latest in IT, including video surveillance and computer analysis of incidents, is reducing violent crime in the city.

Last year, CPD created six Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs) at police stations, essentially local nerve centers for its high-tech approach to fighting crime in areas where incidents are most prevalent.

Jonathan Lewin, chief of CPD’s Bureau of Technical Services, revealed plans to expand the number of centers at the recent CES 2018. Effective immediately, CPD will add four additional SDSCs, Lewin told an audience of more than 100 on Jan. 11 at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

“I’m happy to say that in the first six districts that went live, we were able to tie together a range of technology into a single platform,” Lewin said during a discussion of “Paving the Way for Connected Emergency Vehicles.”

Connecting features like predictive mapping and policing, gunshot detection, surveillance cameras and citizen tips lets police identify “areas of risk, and ties all these things together into a very consumable, very easy to use, very understandable platform,” said Lewin.

“The predictive policing component … the intelligence analyst and that daily intelligence cycle, is really important along with the room itself, which I didn’t talk about,” Lewin said in an interview.