Crowd-sourcing is everywhere nowadays. From Kickstarter projects to asking your friends on Facebook for music advice, this method of leveraging the collective, creative power of the community can be applied to just about any problem you can think of. Apparently this even includes crime prevention. Well, sort of.
According to The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Police Department is incorporating a method of “predictive policing” that analyzes crime statistics to produce a map indicating where crime is most likely to occur. This allows police to focus on specific areas between calls, make friends with locals and address systemic troubles (broken lights, neglected properties) that are conducive to crime. These efforts have reportedly lowered the crime rate by 12 percent in one area of L.A.
As a part of its expansion, the LAPD issued this request to local residents of the Pacific Division:
“To further increase the effectiveness of Predictive Policing we are asking the public to spend any free time that you may have in these areas too. You can simply walk with a neighbor, exercise, or walk your dog in these areas and your presence alone can assist in deterring would be criminals from committing crime in your neighborhood.”
The fascinating bit in the police update was the line “your presence alone.” You just being there can be a key factor in preventing crime in the neighborhood.
You can go read the rest of my first piece on Christian engagement and loving our neighbor at Think Christian.
Soli Deo Gloria