Map it: Web program helps police, residents track crime

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — Since taking the city’s top cop job, Police Chief James Nardone stressed that he wants the department to be more interactive with the community. At tomorrow’s city council meeting Nardone will present the latest tool for achieving that goal.

Crime Mapping, an online service developed by the Omega Group, helps both residents and law enforcement officials reduce crime by reporting incidents, both time and location, to help investigators and alert residents. Nardone said that system posts a community map with highlights of recent crimes.

“There’s also an email crime alert that can tell people what crimes transpired,” Nardone said. “We can track crime a little more closely and respond to hot spots.”

The Omega Group gathers its information from police agencies and posts basic information on recent crimes, with clickable icons for everything from DUIs to armed robberies. Nardone said the system is a crime prevention tool and also a means of sharing needed information with the community.

A search of CrimeMapping.com includes identifying logos for the police departments of participating cities; clicking the badge icon reveals a weekly summary of crime in that community. Trenton, for example, posted 21 crimes between Aug. 9 and Aug. 15.

Other Downriver communities also make use of the site: Taylor reported 46 crimes during the same period; Dearborn had 25. By comparison, the city of Detroit showed more than 1,000 crimes that week.

Individual icons for each reported crime reveal the time and date, location, description and case number.

Information on CrimeMapping can be found at the Trenton Police Department page of the city’s web site, www.trentonmi.org, or by going to www.crimemapping.com.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

Tags: