Cutting edge data-driven analysis directs Los Angeles patrol officers to likely future crime scenes – but critics worry that decision-making by machine will bring 'tyranny of the algorithm'
The Los Angeles Police Department, like many urban police forces today, is both heavily armed and thoroughly computerised. The Real-Time Analysis and Critical Response Division in downtown LA is its central processor. Rows of crime analysts and technologists sit before a wall covered in video screens stretching more than 10 metres wide. Multiple news broadcasts are playing simultaneously, and a real-time earthquake map is tracking the region’s seismic activity. Half-a-dozen security cameras are focused on the Hollywood sign, the city’s icon.
How police and media helicopters navigate the crowded airspace of L.A. when a suspect's on the run.
It's the sort of escapade Los Angeles has long been known for: a man in a stolen car with an AK-47 drives dangerously through the streets of rush-hour L.A. with a tail of about 8 police cars directly behind, and even more following a short ways back. The driver had allegedly carjacked the vehicle from its owner earlier that day – a slightly less concerning crime than the homicide he allegedly committed in July. The car's electronic tracking system had alerted police to its location and a chase ensued for more than an hour – at relatively low speed – through the city.
How citywide fiber optic internet is changing policing in Chattanooga.
One day, a group of officials in Chattanooga, Tennessee, got an idea. They were going to go down to the Tennessee riverfront and count ducks. Depending on your interest in ducks, this could be interpreted as a wasteful venture. But for Chattanooga, it was a crucial test of a growing set of tools that are dramatically changing operations and public safety in the city.
AC Martin's new police station in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles strives to create a strong sense of community.
When the city of Los Angeles announced it wanted to redesign 13 of the city’s aging police stations, architect David Martin set his sights on a station in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in town: Boyle Heights. “It’s a rough, tough area,” says Martin, principal at local architecture and planning firm AC Martin. “So we thought, of all the sites, we might really be able to make a difference on this one.”