The article “The Graffiti Code Breaker” introduces a break through technology called GARI (Gang Graffiti Automatic Recognition and Interpretation). GARI is a software program that allows cops and investigators to track and trace graffiti patterns. This will allow them to find gang activity and minimize crime.
Currently in the United States there around about 33,000 gangs hosting nearly 1.4 million members. They “all use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities, which include robbery, drug and gun trafficking, fraud, extortion, and prostitution rings. (“Gangs”). Unfortunately gangs are all over the country, but only the state of Indiana has started using the GARI to solve the issue.
I am personally a fan of the GARI concept because I think anything used to prevent crime is a necessity. Investigators are beginning to narrow down the area in which certain gangs are vandalizing. In order for the software to work it needs as many images of the graffiti as possible so it can make precise connections. I feel reassured that investigators are looking for new ways to solve reoccurring problems, and that they are trying to prevent problems rather than solving them after they occur.
Although, there are a few flaws in this software. It is a fairly new program so it is hard to decipher if it is actually reliable. Also, there is hardly any online information about it. The program depends on investigators going into the field and taking pictures; but what if the pictures are blurry and hard to detect or the investigators do not take all the needed pictures. Then the accuracy is altered and investigators may find themselves looking in the wrong direction.
Most gang members are not “stupid” when it comes to what they do best. If they are aware of the GARI, it would make sense that they would change up their graffiti colors, and patterns and refrain from using names or locations. It is easy for them to play head games with investigators and send them looking in the wrong direction. Then what? We are left back a square one.
It also concerns me that Indiana is the only state to currently use the GARI. Why haven’t major cities such as Chicago (where there are the most recorded gangs) or New York City adopted this program? Their crime rate-- as a result from gangs-- has skyrocketed and something should be done about it. If these large cities are not willing to use the software program does that mean there are flaws about it we do not know of?
It is hard to tell whether or not upcoming technology will succeed. When there are a lot of unanswered questions and very little information one can only make assumptions. I hope the GARI will be used in more cities to help prevent crime so ultimately the country is a safer place.