Police Partner With Cancer Researchers to Track Stolen Vehicles

(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Police are teaming up with cancer researchers in Portland, Oregon to help track down stolen vehicles. The idea was the brainchild of Officer Michael Terrett of the Portland Police Department.

The Portland Police found that about one in every thirty cars they stopped was stolen. Terrett came to a professor at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Jeffrey Tyner, to propose the idea; Dr. Tyner agreed to it, believing that data would be a powerful tool in improving their success rate.

“He told me about his concept that he wanted to bring a data-driven approach to identifying stolen vehicles,” Dr. Tyner said. “I actually thought it was a natural fit because we use data. They were interested in using data, obviously for very different purposes. But data is data.”

They first used data to help identify different characteristics of a stolen car, which narrowed down the search so they knew what to look for. This included characteristics like tinted windows and a missing license plate. With that data, the researchers helped the bureau to identify one in four cars they stopped as being stolen, as opposed to one in thirty cars.

Terret emphasized that stopping stolen cars can prevent further crime, saying, “If we can apprehend that vehicle with that person in the car, we are likely, as our statistics have shown, going to take a gun off the street.” He continued, “There is likely a person in that vehicle with an active arrest warrant that we can take into custody. And who knows what we have just stopped from occurring in the community.”

The police force said that their data is constantly changing when it comes to identifying characteristics that signify a stolen car. These cancer researchers are accustomed to ever-changing data, and they know how to utilize it even though it’s changing constantly.

Portland Police received an eight hundred thousand dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to keep working with the researchers on their agenda.

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