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LAPD pioneered predicting crime with data. Many police don’t think it works

The Los Angeles Police Department took a revolutionary leap in 2010 when it became one of the first to employ data technology and information about past crimes to predict future unlawful activity. Other departments around the nation soon adopted predictive policing techniques.

But the widely hailed tool the LAPD helped create has come under fire in the last 18 months, with numerous departments dumping the software because it did not help them reduce crime and essentially provided information already being gathered by officers patrolling the streets.

After three years, “we didn’t find it effective,” Palo Alto police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said. “We didn’t get any value out of it. It didn’t help us solve crime.” The Mountain View, Calif., Police Department spent more than $60,000 on the program between 2013 and 2018. “We tested the software and eventually subscribed to the service for a few years, but ultimately the results were mixed and we discontinued the service in June 2018,” spokeswoman Katie Nelson said in a statement…