POLICE PREDICT FUTURE CRIME WITH COMPUTERS: DEPUTY BARNEY FIFE DIDN’T NEED FANCY CHARTS

CNN Reports that many police agencies are experimenting with a sophisticated computer program called PREDPOL that can predict future criminal conduct (cue the sound of ominous otherworldly music over police sirens) by using patterns of crime, prior criminal behavior, locations of prior crimes and relevant sociological cultural information. Sounds like Clearwater Criminal Attorneys, if not Orwell, would have a field day debunking this as a secret big brother intervention especially if it proved effective. 

If police have reason to believe crime may occur at a particular place and time, then that place at that time will be subjected to close scrutiny, surveillance and possible police misconduct in an overzealous bid to stop what may happen as opposed to investigating what has happened. This kind of thinking is what has caused so much disarray in the notorious narcotics division of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department with unfortunate results and possible illegal activity by Tampa Bay Deputies. It would be useful if some sophisticated computer could determine when officers will do crime and be punished for it as some police officers caught doing crimes are not being arrested nor prosecuted in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Deputy barney fife blood hound of the law didn't need charts or computers to find future crimeYet stopping future crime by effective use of known criminal conduct sounds so new and modern, doesn’t it?  Not quite. The ideas behind this have been around for many years. Florida law enforcement and police agencies should simply watch old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show to find out about how to find and how to handle future crime. 

On October 9, 1961 in an episode titled Barney’s Replacement a clueless attorney is sent to Mayberry for law enforcement training. Soon he wows the Sheriff and Deputy Barney Fife when he accurately predicts a crime by using a chart he drew up of past crimes, past criminal locations and uncharged misconduct in Mayberry. But in the end those crime charts meant much less than knowing people, understanding them and helping them. Your Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney agrees with Deputy Fife when it comes to effective law enforcement, “Good police work is more than just fancy charts…” And not just in Mayberry either.