Computer guru Brett Goldstein was stuck at Midway Airport on 9/11 when the second plane struck the World Trade Center.
"We were watching CNN when it hit," Goldstein says of that terrible day in 2001. "It planted the seed in my mind."
At the time, he was an executive with OpenTable, a restaurant-reservation tech firm.
"I thought: 'When I am done with OpenTable, maybe it's time to do my duty.' "
All well and good. Duty is a fine motivation. Most of us came on this job to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We have no quarrel with that.
Things have worked out well for Goldstein. On Aug. 16, the 36-year-old cop was promoted to director of the department's new Predictive Analytics Group, a $150,000-a-year job that puts him in charge of an increasingly important part of police work: forecasting where and when crimes will occur throughout the city.
"worked out well" is an understatement. A $150,000 job in under 4 years? That's just about unheard of even in the private sector. One would be justified in wondering how is that possible? But then, this is Chicago.
We're going to make a few observations about the article here. This is just a stupid quote here:
Goldstein recalls doing pushups at the police academy and thinking: "Am I making a critical mistake here?"
He had a lot to learn. His wife bought him a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine -- a new area of research for him. "I had no experience in that subject," he said, smiling.
Yeah, because being a cop is all about "Guns& Ammo." What an asinine piece of writing there by Frank Main.
- During his time on the street, Goldstein marveled at how a field-training officer with 18 years of experience could listen to calls on the police radio, watch where gang members were congregating and accurately predict when and where violence was going to "pop off."
Um....because the FTO spent 18 years doing his job? Maybe if the director spent a little more than his training cycles on the street, he'd learn how a street cop is able to be that "in tune" with his area of expertise. But that would take time, wouldn't it?
In April, the department launched its predictive analytics system. Now, Goldstein provides top police officials every day with crime forecasts, which are compared with the "human intelligence" gathered by the police on the street.[...] He declines, though, to describe specific indicators of crime or talk about how accurate the department's computer forecasting system is. The department is still designing a system to evaluate the forecasts, he notes.
So we're still paying cops to gather "human intelligence" and compare it to the computer model? Wow. And accurate? If a crime occurs, you can say "the system predicted it." If it doesn't occur, you say, "we prevented it." It's the best of both worlds! Why get bogged down in actual statistics or numbers when someone with half a brain might trip you up? Just be like our fearful leader and claim 24,000 pod missions solved 4,500 crimes. Who's going to be able to challenge the numbers?
Here's the topper though:
- "It's quite a Chicago story," Irakliotis says of Goldstein. "He doesn't have any relatives in City Hall. He went through the trenches like any police officer. I'm really proud of him."
Training cycles = trenches. Remember that.
And no relatives at City Hall? Well, if your family is tied into a well-known foundation that provides the mayor and his supporters with thousands of dollars in political donations and charitable giving, you don't really need to have an "inside" connection to the Hall.
Somehow Frank Main missed that connection. Surprising.
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