Utah police look to artificial intelligence for assistance

Utah police look to artificial intelligence for assistance


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PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah city police department is considering a partnership with an artificial intelligence company in an effort to help the law enforcement agency work more efficiently.

The Springville police may work with technology firm Banjo to help improve the response time to emergencies, The Daily Herald reported.

The Park City company can gather real-time data from various sources including 911 dispatch calls, traffic cameras, emergency alarms, and social media posts and report related information to the police, officials said.

The Springfield City Council heard a presentation by a Banjo representative during its Jan. 7 meeting but did not immediately make a decision about using the technology.

Banjo entered an agreement last July with the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety to let the agencies use Banjo’s technology to “reduce time and resources typically required to generate leads, and instead focus their efforts on incident response,” according to a report to the state Legislature.

The agreement will cost the state $2.2 million per year, the report said.

“Reduced response times, with accurate information and locations, saves lives,” the report said.

Springville Police Chief Craig Martinez said the technology could enable police to more effectively respond to 911 calls about crimes by providing information from cameras, social media and offender registries and sending notifications to officers.

It basically takes things and speeds them up a lot quicker than things we'd have to manually search on our own.

–Springville Police Chief Craig Martinez

“It basically takes things and speeds them up a lot quicker than things we’d have to manually search on our own,” he said.

Concerns over potential invasions of privacy, such as information taken from social media, are addressed by the program stripping out personal details and delivering anonymous information to officers, Martinez said.

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