It was a bit like a scene from “Minority Report,” the 2002 Tom Cruise movie that featured genetically altered humans with special powers to predict crime.
In October, the Chicago Police Department’s new crime-forecasting unit was analyzing 911 calls for service and produced an intelligence report predicting a shooting would happen soon on a particular block on the South Side.
Three minutes later, it did, police officials say.
Could we get the documentation on this one? Because this should have been blasted all over the television, radio and internet if even remotely true.
And if true, then the results should be easily reproducible. To date, we haven't heard of a single incident of the Crystal Ball Unit (or it's predecessor) successfully predicting a single crime, including the one cited as the basis for this entire article.
The tongue bath continues:
That got police Supt. Jody Weis thinking.
He wondered if the department could produce intelligence reports even quicker. Next time, officers might have an hour’s notice before a shooting — instead of just a few minutes.
That's an amazing thing in and of itself - thinking that they actually "predicted" a shooting. It has been said that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. This prediction was obviously a blind squirrel/nut scenario and a monumental confluence of coincidences.
We aren't going to bore you with the entire load of nonsense, but the article states the prediction area was over a mile square. Shit, we could pick a box measuring a mile square on each side, drop it in the middle of 007, 006, 011, 010, or 015 and have a positive prediction ratio approaching easily approaching 70%. It's a joke. Oh heck, here's the portion we're citing:
The Predictive Analytics Group, which sorts through crime statistics and demographic data, was formed by Weis last spring.
At the time, the department was generating weekly citywide intelligence reports on violent crime and identifying “hot spots” of more than a square mile.
Weis said the goal of the Crime Analytics Group was to produce twice-a-day intelligence reports concentrating on smaller hot spots.
Nine months later, that’s been accomplished, said Goldstein, who said his unit also is working with detectives to identify robbery patterns.
Goldstein said he expects the intelligence reports will eventually go out more often than twice a day “as we move closer to real-time architecture.”
But the science behind the reports remains a mystery. Goldstein won’t give specifics on how his unit makes its predictions or identify the targeted areas, saying he does not want to tip off criminals.
Science? This guy wrote a program for restaurant reservations for pete's sake. He didn't invent crime fighting. He doesn't even have 18 months of street time and now he's a crime scientist?
Specifics? We'll clue you in Frank Main - there are none. It's a "mystery" because it's smoke, mirrors and a daily helping of bullshit, specially imported from Lincoln Park Zoo's Bovine Emporium. Detectives were identifying robbery patterns with push pins and big maps decades before the four-year wonder Director was a gleam in his daddy's eye. The only difference now is the computer generated maps are way cooler than before and the pushpins don't stick you in the ass when you fold up the map to take it on the street with you.
If there was a science to it or any real results available, it would be all over the press releases and touted as the next big thing. Someone would be looking to make some real money as consultants or analysts or selling the software or visiting professorships with prestigious universities and think-tanks. None of that is present or even on the horizon.
The best part of the article isn't actually in the article though. It's in the comment section and it references Dugan's retirement party:
- Why does the media keep drinking the kool aid from this imposter and padding his resume?
Retiring Deputy Superintendent Dugan said it best in his retirement speech, "This department will hopefully return to its better days when this joke of an experiment is over."
Hopefully, Dugan said exactly that, because it's true. Our readers have been saying it for almost three years now. Too bad it wasn't said sooner, louder and by more people in power.
Labels: dumb ideas, silly people