A new crime-tracking map that police are making available gives users daily updates and alerts on their computers or smartphones, a significant improvement from static maps plotting crime locations previously posted each week on the city website.
Police hope that in addition to giving people a more up-to-date way to check on crime in their neighborhoods, the new map could also help fight crime by making people more aware of what's going on around them.
"We're hoping this isn't just an informational tool for the public, but that this helps us solve crime," Cmdr.
The map shows the date, time and location of each crime, and the information appears within a day of the event. The map also includes crime data going back three years and allows users to submit anonymous tips.
Hot spots and holes
Neighborhood crime watch advocate
"It's about time they did SOMETHING that gives us crime info in a more timely manner," she wrote in an e-mail.
Leeson said she would like to see the city put police reports online, too. That would add names, exact addresses and a brief description of crimes to the information available now.
Phillips neighborhood resident
That's typical of how people use the map, said
"They can look at the incidents that are happening in and around where they live, they work, they recreate or where their children live, work or play," Smith said. The company has hundreds of police agencies feeding data into raidsonline, and it hopes to build a national crime-mapping tool.
"The idea is that we have this across all jurisdictions, one seamless map," Smith said.
Raidsonline also has agreements with
But even in
Still, Quast liked being able to look at crime reports from across the metro area. "It's a step in the right direction for public information," she said.
Raidsonline (the company says the name refers to Regional Analysis and Information Sharing) is one of several crime-mapping sites with national aspirations. Similar projects from Crimereports.com, Spotcrime.com and Crimemapping.com have their own police clients. Crimemapping.com, for example, has many northern
Free to any police agency that wants it, raidsonline has 25 police departments and sheriff's offices in
Bair makes money selling more sophisticated analytical software, but police are under no obligation to buy once they sign up, Smith said.
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