February 1, 2019

Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Police Department Open New Predictive Technology Center as City Reaches Record-Low Crime Numbers

Smart Policing Technology launches in 14th District today; in three more police districts early next week

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson today announced the launch of smart policing technology in four more police districts across Chicago to support police in preventing, combating and responding to violent crime. Station-based Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSC), POD crime cameras and mobile phone technology will launch today in the 14th (Shakespeare) district, and be online early next week in the 17th (Albany Park), 19th (Town Hall) and 24th (Rogers Park) police districts to build on the City’s smart policing strategies that have led to a record-low decline in murders, shootings, robberies, burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts this month.

“Chicago is using state-of-the-art technology to strengthen public safety, and we are seeing results,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By growing the size of the Chicago Police Department, investing in neighborhoods, and ensuring every police officer has the best technology and training we are making meaningful gains in public safety in communities throughout the city.”

Strategic Decision Support Centers are district-based intelligence centers that utilize existing data sources within CPD, such as offender criminal history databases and past crime data. The SDSCs place all this information it into a single, usable platform that will ensure district command staff and officers are prepared with the information necessary to make more predictive patrol deployments or respond to a call. These investments have contributed to over two years of consecutive declines in violent crimes, including a 10-year low in homicides and a 20-year low in robberies for the month of January. 

"The strategic decision support centers have directly contributed to a two-year reduction in violence because they allow officers to respond to crime in almost real-time and be in the right places at the right times," said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "From Humboldt Park to Austin and Rogers Park to Englewood, nearly every neighborhood will benefit from increased camera technology and predictive policing that will give our officers the tools to fight crime smarter and more effectively."

In 2017, CPD built the first SDSCs in the 7th and 11th police districts to combat violence on the city's south and west side. Based on early successes in these districts, the City expanded its smart policing strategies to more districts as part of a new approach to gun violence prevention that is designed to help police commanders target their resources to the right place at the right time, and be more responsive to communities' needs.

CPD’s smart policing strategy now covers more than half the city. In each of the districts, new station-based strategic nerve centers, mobile technology, and crime cameras are deployed to assist in district-level crime strategies and investigations. Each SDSC is staffed with a District Intelligence Officer, who can coordinate the information directly with patrol units in the field, as well as a civilian data analyst who work to ensure the software is being utilized and that data is being collected effectively. 

The implementation of this predictive technology builds upon CPD’s crime strategy of targeted, data-driven enforcement to build a culture of accountability among violent offenders. 

License Plate Reader Vehicles

Expanding on these efforts, CPD deployed the first of 200 new License Plate Reader (LPR) vehicles this month as part of the City’s strategy for combating carjacking and car thefts. The automated LPR technology allows CPD to match license plates against a list of stolen and wanted vehicles as alerts are analyzed in CPD's advanced Strategic Decision Support Centers. Thanks to the citywide coordinated effort, carjackings are down 33% compared to last year and vehicle thefts are at a 20-year low for the month of January.

POD Crime Cameras Expansion

The City will install additional high definition POD crime cameras at strategic locations in the newly-equipped smart policing districts. The real-time monitoring also serves as a force multiplier because it provides critical information for better, timelier resource allocation.

Mobile Technology

CPD will issue mobile phones equipped with crime analysis tools to every beat officer working in SDSC districts. These devices give real-time access to district intelligence information to police officers in the field, helping them determine deployment strategies based on historical crime data. This mobile technology will allow for smarter, data-driven patrols and significantly decreased response times to potential service calls.

The effective use of technology is at the heart of effective modern policing and a core component of the City’s public safety strategy. Additionally, CPD’s manpower continues to grow with new graduates leaving the Academy each month, allowing district command staff to focus resources towards those committing violent crimes.