August 21, 2016

"Struggling to reduce its high murder rate, the city of Chicago has become an incubator for experimental policing techniques."

the verge: Community policing, stop and frisk, "interruption" tactics — the city has tried many strategies. By Matt Stroud

'Perhaps most controversial and promising has been the city’s futuristic "heat list" — an algorithm-generated list identifying people most likely to be involved in a shooting.

'The hope was that the list would allow police to provide social services to people in danger, while also preventing likely shooters from picking up a gun. But a new report from the RAND Corporation shows nothing of the sort has happened. Instead, it indicates that the list is, at best, not even as effective as a most wanted list. At worst, it unnecessarily targets people for police attention, creating a new form of profiling.

'"[A]t-risk individuals were not more or less likely to become victims of a homicide or shooting as a result of the SSL, and this is further supported by city-level analysis finding no effect on the city homicide trend," according to the report. Instead of being used to prevent violence, the list essentially served as a way to find suspects after the fact. "We do find, however, that SSL subjects were more likely to be arrested for a shooting," the report said.'

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