NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)-- Slashings. Rapes. Murders. Imagine what life would be like if the criminals could be stopped before they ever get started.
In the aftermath of a crime, investigators rush to connect the dots that can help crack the case.
But now, thanks to new technology, those dots are being connected before a crime is even committed.
"This is the next level," George Spadoro, former mayor of Edison, New Jersey, told CBS2's Maurice DuBois.
Spadoro says the technology is the future of law enforcement and that it could prevent anything from a subway slashing to a terror attack.
"When you have tight budgets, you need to be able to provide an increased level of protection for your citizens with less manpower," Spadoro said.
Here's how it works: Hitachi's new visualization system gathers massive amounts of information from a wide range of unconnected sources. These sources include social media, transit maps, weather reports, crime statistics, camera feeds and more. It then interfaces all of those sources on one pane of glass.
Authorities can then activate the crime prediction software to look for patterns. Patterns that can not only help identify criminals' intent, but also when and where they'll likely strike again within a two-block radius.
Mark Jules is the brainchild behind the system.
"If you go back and look at hey, it's a Saturday, it's a certain time of day, it's a certain temperature, this is where that's happened... then you combine that with social media that can all start to predict when and where it's going to happen," Jules told CBS2.
New York Waterway is the first organization in the area to incorporate parts of the Hitachi system, allowing both the ferry company and law enforcement to monitor its boats in real time.
"If there was a hostage situation on a boat, they can see the lay out of the vessel, the placement of the cameras and how many people we have on board," Jules said.
The software is currently being used in Washington, D.C. and is expected to roll out in six more cities soon, New York City not being one of them. The NYPD would not specifically comment on Hitachi, but did tell CBS2 it began field-testing a similar application just last month.
for more features.