Birmingham 2025: The future of crime prevention

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — What are the challenges of crime fighting in the year 2025? It’s a question that we raised with Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper. He outlined some of the futuristic investigative tools officers will have at their disposal.

It may sound a bit like the Pre-Cogs in the 2002 Tom Cruise thriller Minority Report. While technology though is not that advanced yet, Roper says investigators will use pre-crime techniques, “I think you are going to see a greater reliance on predictive policing where police departments and think tanks try to figure out where the next crime will occur and who will commit the next crime.”

Chicago and New York Police are already quietly using the Pre-Crime technology that mostly targets individuals who seem to show a high risk of being involved in a shooting. To support that technology, Birmingham Police will rely on more electronic eyes, providing police with extensive surveillance video for their investigations. “You are going to see a greater reliance on technology, computerization and those types of things surveillance cameras and how you sync all of those together because this cyber area will continue to grow,” says Roper.

By 2025, Birmingham Police are also expected to grow the police force and even the building they’re currently housed. You can expect to see police in a new police headquarters. One proposal calls for moving into the former security office tower.

Right now, the police department is conducting studies because they are sure they need a new facility, according to Chief Roper. “There is no doubt there is a need for a new police headquarters now, especially nine years from now because it will be important to have a facility that can take on and encapsulate the technology and the cybercrimes and all the things we will be involved in.”

In the coming years, to stay ahead of the changes criminal will make, Birmingham Police will adapt but Chief Roper believes community policing, the hallmark of his department’s success will remain constant. ”As Birmingham continues to grow, more people move into the city there has to be a greater reliance on those community partnerships but we can never let technology and computerization take the place of relationships.”

Chief Roper concluded that education and mentoring kids today will make a difference in the year 2025 on whether or not they turn out to be successful adults or caught up the criminal justice system.

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