Jennings officers using new tool to predict, fight crime -

Jennings officers using new tool to predict, fight crime

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

Policing the future. That is what a new software is helping law enforcement in St. Louis County do. 

It's called HunchLab and officers in Jennings are the only ones in the county using it to help predict crimes before they even happen. 

"I enjoy it because it kind of gives us instead of a random patrol, kind of cruising the streets, it gives us a specific area to focus on," says Officer Thomas Keener. 

HunchLab is based on preventing crime. 

"It's prevention. So it predicts a high risk area so we can be visible and prevent crime," says Keener. 

Keener says a lot of factors, from past reports to citizen complaints go into determining what area is high risk. 

"It puts all those things into a math equation and then it tells us the highest risk area in a 250 square meter area," he says. 

The data pops up onto the officer's laptop inside the patrol car. 

"The boxes reflect the highest risk for a crime and it gets even more specific than that. In this one the highest risk is for residential burglaries and the tactic they recommend is foot patrol," says Keener. 

Keener says depending on the crime, the recommended tactic will change, like to community policing instead of foot patrol. That is when officers just go up and talk to people in their area. 

"It is going to take a while to see the affects it's having. I believe it is helping," says Keener. 

The software doesn't give officers probable cause to stop someone. It simply puts officers in the area so they are more visible to prevent crime. 

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