Best of luck.

March 28, 2009

The Cleveland Police Department is apparently going to get hi-tech in fighting crime:

The department recently hired computer analyst Todd Wiles to sort through reams of police reports and street intelligence. Wiles’ job will be to analyze the crime data and predict where crime waves will hit next.

The goal is to send more officers to patrol in the anticipated trouble spots and head off crime before it occurs. Wiles’ hiring will help lower crime across the city, Police Chief Michael McGrath said.

Wiles will comb through computerized crime records. He will examine the dates, times, motives, locations and suspects in crimes to pinpoint trends, both in types and locations of crimes.

Wiles will also prepare daily, weekly, monthly and annual statistical reports, as well as computerized crime maps, charts and graphic illustrations for police leaders at weekly meetings, officials said.

If only we had some evidence that this sort of thing works. Oh wait, we do have evidence.

For all of the talk about “economic development” and “public-private partnerships,” it seems to me that if local governments focused on things like public order (you know, those things that governments traditionally addressed), most of the rest would take care of itself. Who wants to spend a night in an unsafe area, or start a business in such a place – no matter how many “economic incentives” exist? Here’s hoping that Cleveland follows through on this initiative and makes the city a safe and clean place in which to work and play.

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