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Last summer, the Chicago police announced a 39% year-over-year drop in shootings and a 33% reduction in murders in their 7th district for the period between January and July. A large part of the credit, according to police, goes to the use of predictive analytics that enabled law enforcement to anticipate where and when crime would occur and deploy resources and preventive measures accordingly. Other Chicago districts using the algorithms recorded similar declines.

This technology is the subject of a new book, The Rise of Big Data Policing by Columbia Professor of Law, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson. The book examines “how new technologies will alter the who, where, when and how we police. These new technologies also o er data-driven methods to improve police accountability and to remedy the underlying socio-economic risk factors that encourage crime.”

Check out a thorough review of The Rise of Big Data Policing in the LA Review of Books.