Fascinating NYT story on how police precincts in NYC are moving "left of boom" (as the military says) to intervene with vulnerable youth BEFORE they even get involved with the gangs, etc.
The New York City Police Departmenthas embarked on a novel approach to deter juvenile robbers, essentially staging interventions and force-feeding outreach in an effort to stem a tide of robberies by dissuading those most likely to commit them.
Officers not only make repeated drop-ins at homes and schools, but they also drive up to the teenagers in the streets, shouting out friendly hellos, in front of their friends. The force’s Intelligence Division also deciphers each teenager’s street name and gang affiliation. Detectives compile a binder on each teenager that includes photos from Facebook and arrest photos of the teenager’s associates, not unlike the flow charts generated by law enforcement officials to track organized crime.
The idea, in part, is to isolate these teenagers from the peers with whom they commit crimes — to make them radioactive.
This is a form of "big data" intervention: based on trajectories, the cops know who's highly likely to be sucked into certain activities. Their names start appearing on police blotters - often on "both sides" (victim and perpetrator). The cops also know where and when the activity is likely to occur.
So they just start showing up, making it clear they know you and where you're headed.
Tell me that's not just aggressive social work. The signs are all there. The initial indicators are piling up. You know who, what, where, when and why. Question is, do you just wait with this information or do you act pre-emptively?
The whole linking-the-dots thing about 9/11 has many parallels in other security domains, with obvious overlaps in medical, environmental, etc.
This is where "big data" will take governance.
This is where we will locate the looming Progressive Era.
Same things holds on bad actors internationally.
Yes, we can resort to old labels and call it many names. Or we can grow up and understand that we can and will do better.
Writing off vulnerable populations isn't noble. It's merely shirking your civic/global duty.