This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
Alexander “Lex” Adams took an unconventional path to business. What started as an engineering class project at LSU morphed into a data-driven crime prediction company: Crimer. Using primary data pulled from police departments, police scanners and social media, and supplemented with auxiliary data on property values, population, weather and more, Adams and his team compile heat maps to predict areas where crimes will occur.
“We use over a dozen variables to determine where crime will occur and whether those predictions match existing hotspots,” Adams says. “It’s an important distinction.”
Existing crime-prediction software can allow outliers to go unchecked and develop into hotspots. The company’s intention is to prepare police departments to prevent crimes from occurring in new places, rather than trying to handle their aftermath.
Here’s how Crimer is changing the emergency-response landscape and what the company has in store for the future.
Innovating Emergency Responses
Crimer’s prediction software has implications beyond preventing crime. Another target market is ambulance services. “Knowing where crimes are most likely to occur gives local ambulance services the chance to be in the area ahead of time,” Adams says. “It can significantly reduce response times.”
With the opioid crisis hitting south Louisiana, Crimer worked with the city of Baton Rouge to identify where opioid solicitation was occurring. “In most cases, where people solicit opioids matches where the use occurs,” Adams says. “Using data to pinpoint where that’s occurring gives emergency services a chance to be on the scene earlier to save more lives.”
Adams says he envisions his company aiding emergency services in overcoming one of their biggest financial drains: overtime. For many companies shifts are added based on need, and employees pick them up as overtime hours. “Crimer’s prediction services can help emergency service organizations make more informed staffing decisions,” Adams says.