Software predicts violent crime

Orange County Sheriff's Office using it to get results on crime

Like every other law enforcement agency in Central Florida, the Orange County Sheriff's Office keeps statistics on every crime committed. But the Orange County Sheriff's Office puts those past numbers to work to predict future crime. 

"Traditional policing is we're having a lot of crime, let's go make an arrest, let's write a lot of tickets, let's generate a lot of tickets. That is output-based policing," said Maj. Jeff Stonebreaker. "This is more outcome-based policing, where you're trying to identify the areas where you need to be and disrupt the crime before it occurs."

Stonebreaker said his Predpol software analyzes stored data on on time, type, and location of crimes over the past 10 years and, using complex algorithms, draws red boxes around areas that may experience future crimes.

"They're saying based on past experience, we're likely to have that same problem again, and that's really the premise here," said Stonebreaker. "Getting something that's usable out to the line-level troop that is tasked with making things better in that zone."

Predpol's interactive map shows red dots, where crimes have occurred, and red boxes, where it calculates crime is likely to occur or re-occur. The map differs from morning, to afternoon, to nighttime.

Stonebreaker said patrol deputies use the software to guide them where to patrol and get results on crime.

"It's about presence. It's about denying the opportunity to the suspect to make bad decisions," said Stonebreaker. "Does this prevent crimes? If we use it right, and we lean into this these boxes and douse these areas, yeah, it's been shown we have some really good success."

Last week, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings insisted to News 6 that Predpol is one of the agency's top violent crime-fighting tools.

There have been three shootings in Orange County in just the past three days.

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