MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A new crime-fighting method right out of science fiction is now changing the way cops do business on Long Island.

As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, predictive policing uses mathematical analysis, historical data and digital dissection to essentially predict likely crimes and crime locations and stop it before it happens.

Both Nassau and Suffolk counties credit the new method for some of the lowest crime stats on record.

But while some see the new crime-fighting tool as a good thing, many residents are suspicious.

“It’s because they’re watching you, whatever you do,” said one woman.

“It doesn’t sound real,” another resident said. “On the surface, it sounds good. I’m skeptical.”

But authorities say it is real and is changing the way crime fighters do business.

Nassau County Police stepped up its use of predictive policing at the start of 2014. The practice has been in use since 2012 in Suffolk County.

Both programs were modeled after the NYPD’s CompStat efforts. Current commissioner Bill Bratton helped implement the technology during his last run as NYPD commissioner in 1994.

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