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      Number crunching assists law enforcement in preventing crimes

      As a law enforcement official, officers are responsible for not only solving crimes but preventing them as well, and that's where crime analysts come in.Albany Police Department Crime Analyst David Sparks has the duty of compiling thousands of police reports to try and track any kind of trend, whether it's the time of day, type of crime or area it's committed in. Once Sparks enters that data into the system, maps, graphs and charts are created to show departments the criminal activity "hot spots" around Albany.Since humans are creatures of habit, Sparks says criminals will often follow patterns which can be useful when trying to prevent the next crime.Once that data is ready, officers are strategically placed around town in the most efficient way possible while still covering all districts and beats to keep the area safe.Sparks says criminal analysis is crucial for any department because officers spend 55% of their time going from call to call, so any data that can help pinpoint a crime area and cause less wasted time is necessary.APD Captain Angel Bradford says police officers are trying to be proactive not reactive, so statistical data that is proven to be accurate is extremely helpful to departments.While some residents may see the concentration of police vehicles and feel targeted, Bradford says officers are there for a reason and law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about.Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!