Predictive Policing Symposium: Opening Remarks

Kristina Rose
Acting Director, National Institute of Justice

Remarks for Kristina Rose
Acting Director, National Institute of Justice
Predictive Policing Symposium
November 19, 2009

Good morning. For those of you not at the dinner last night, my name is Kristina Rose and I’m the Acting Director of the National Institute of Justice. I want to welcome all of you to this first symposium on predictive policing.

It’s wonderful to see all of you here. When the word got out that we were going to have this symposium, we were inundated with requests to attend. It was obvious that we had touched upon a topic of significant interest both in the law enforcement and the research communities.

I want to thank our partners in this effort: the Bureau of Justice Assistance and Chief Beck and the Los Angeles Police Department. This has been a truly collaborative venture and I especially want to thank the working group members from these three agencies that put so much time, energy and thought into this symposium.

I want to recognize former LA Police Chief Bill Bratton for the enthusiasm he brought to planning this event and really serving as the catalyst for bringing predictive policing to the forefront.

I also want to thank Laurie Robinson, our Assistant Attorney General at OJP for her tireless support of our efforts, especially in the area of predictive policing.

We are also very fortunate to have with us representatives from the Ministry of Public Security in Israel and the National Policing Improvement Agency in the United Kingdom. They, too, are exploring the predictive policing concept and we welcome them to this meeting and look forward to hearing their perspectives.

The question we hear most often when referring to predictive policing is, quite frankly, “What IS it?” 

My guess is that if you asked 10 people, you might get 10 different answers. But when you have too many definitions for one concept, you run the risk of having that concept lose its meaning entirely. 

So, with this symposium, we hope to answer this and other pertinent questions by taking a close look at what we really mean by predictive policing and examining how it is being implemented in different jurisdictions around the country. All of you in this room — the researchers, the officers, the crime analysts, the technologists — were all specifically invited to be here because of the expertise and guidance you can offer as we sort through the myriad issues and challenges of predictive policing over the next few days. We expect, want and invite your frank and candid comments and observations throughout this meeting.

As many of you may be aware, earlier this year, NIJ released a solicitation asking for proposals from law enforcement agencies interested in taking part in a predictive policing demonstration initiative. The goal of the demonstration was to develop, test and evaluate predictive policing in a real-world, real-time context. We received many thoughtful and innovative applications and ultimately issued awards to seven jurisdictions. We have invited them here to this symposium to talk about their project ideas. The grantees are:

  • Boston Police Department
  • Chicago Police Department
  • Maryland State Police
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • DC Metropolitan Police Department
  • New York Police Department
  • Shreveport Police Department

Congratulations to all of you and we are very much looking forward to your presentations.

In addition to funding the planning grants for the demonstration initiative, we funded a team from the Rand Corporation to evaluate the demonstration so that by the end of the initiative we will have a good sense of what works, what doesn’t, and what’s promising in the area of predictive policing and can share that evidence with the field. 

We have planned an ambitious and what we hope will be a thought-provoking meeting for you. We will kick it off with an opening panel that will address the definitional and other issues around predictive policing. 

Afterwards, we will hear about how the Los Angeles Police Department is approaching predictive policing, including a discussion of “what’s in it for the cop on the street?” 

At lunch, former LA Police Chief Bill Bratton will provide the keynote address. Afterwards, we will split off into breakout groups for more specific discussions around policy and practice, technical issues and privacy and legal issues.

Later in the afternoon, we will go to the new LAPD headquarters and the Regional Crime Center for tours and demonstrations. Logistical details will be presented in a few minutes.

Tomorrow, we will hear the perspectives from three police chiefs on what predictive policing means to them and how they think it will change policing in the future. 

Afterwards, we’ll hear from NIJ’s predictive policing grantees who will discuss their different projects. 

Tomorrow’s lunch keynote address will be presented by John Miller, the Assistant Deputy Director of Intelligence Analysis at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

After lunch, the facilitators will report on the breakouts from the previous day. So, as you can see, we’ve packed a lot into the next day and a half.

In closing, I want to tell you how we plan to disseminate what we learn from this symposium. Within two weeks, we will have a symposium recap Web page available that will feature a summary of the conference, text of all the remarks and pertinent links to additional information. An article, based on this meeting, will be published in an upcoming issue of the NIJ Journal, and we have plans to do a Web chat in the early spring to continue the discussion around predictive policing. We encourage all of you to be an active part of our dissemination efforts by sharing what you learned and keeping the conversations going long after you leave this meeting.

Again, I want to thank all of you for joining us here in Los Angeles for this very important symposium.
Date Created: December 18, 2009