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Santa Cruz police use math to predict crime

April 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Officers in Santa Cruz are using new technology involving an algorithm, which is a complicated math equation, to get a jump on crime.

Santa Cruz police are using algorithms to predict crimes like car thefts and burglaries before they happen. The program generates ten "hot spot" maps each day, letting officers know where a crime is likely to occur.

With police departments facing budget cuts across the country, the system gives them a powerful tool. Crime analysts say they really see the algorithm's predictions as the future of law enforcement.

Santa Cruz police say the program led to 13 arrests last year. Plus, they saw an 11 percent drop in burglaries.