From our partners at WOOD-TV:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — She doesn’t carry a gun and she doesn’t make arrests.

But Andrea McLain is on the front lines of fighting crime in Grand Rapids. And she does it with just a few key strokes.

“There might be a series of robberies going on,” McLain said as she went over numbers and locations on the Grand Rapids Police Department’s crime mapping page.

McLain is GRPD’s newly hired crime analyst. As she dives into the numbers and identifies trends, she’s creating a virtual crystal ball to help officers prevent crime before it occurs or to stop a potential crime spree in its tracks.

“I find a pattern… like they’re all occurring with two offenders with similar descriptions coming from the victims,” McLain said.

It’s part of an effort to get analytical information that can help the department predict where officers are needed the most.

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