Cocoa police use software to thwart crime

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COCOA, Fla. - The Cocoa Police Department is using new predictive software to thwart crime.

The agency has started using PredPol, a cloud-based software that tracks and maps crime trends, generating a prediction of where and when future crime is most likely to occur.

The program constantly ingests data on calls for service, translating the information into hot zones where officers can be efficiently and proactively deployed.

“We believe this will allow us to use our patrol resources more effectively,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “By putting our officers inside these hot zones we have a better chance of catching a crime in the act or, even better, preventing it from happening in the first place.”

Channel 9’s Jeff Deal rode along with Officer Brandon McIntyre as he responded to a suspicious vehicle call Friday.

An alert security guard reported an abandoned moving truck left in the Village Green apartments on Dixon Boulevard.

"This particular address we’re going to now was on the list through PredPol that something would take place there," McIntyre said.

McIntyre said the Penske truck, which was stolen in Indiana, was used to haul 50 to 60 guns stolen from a storage facility earlier in the week. Only ammo and drug paraphernalia were found in the truck.

“[The software] forces the officers to go to particular areas, conduct patrol checks and get themselves out there and talking with the people in the different neighborhoods,” McIntyre said. “And that just causes the visibility to go up and less crime all together.”