More police departments see the benefits of crime map technology

Posted on Aug 06, 2014

With the help of technology, many police departments across the U.S. are becoming more efficient with the way they respond to crimes, in addition to the way crimes are solved, reported and documented.

Whether a city is big or small, police departments are finding solutions to reduce crime with mapping technology. The Erie Bureau of Police in Erie, Ohio, recently invested nearly $28,000 in new crime map software that helps officers track crimes through a computerized geographic information system called ArcGIS, Go Erie reported.

Access to more crime data

The software provides officers with detailed information on the spot concerning addresses, dates or locations of robberies, assaults, burglaries and where firearms were recovered, the source said.

"We can get very detailed to provide strategic intelligence," said Sgt. James Stumpo, the intelligence officer for the EBP, according to the source. "It gives us the bigger picture of where offenses are occurring."

D.C. Police sets up new crime map for users

Crime map technology is proving to be effective for any department size. The Washington D.C. police department recently released its new online crime map to the public, the Washington Times reported.

The new map will help officers and residents in the area see what neighborhoods and streets are enduring the most crime to help officers apprehend criminals. According to the source, the department used to have a less detailed map that only gave information about police service areas, but the agency has since made several modifications to make it more user-friendly.

"The average resident may not know their Police Service Area, but they know their neighborhood," said Delroy Burton, the police chairman for the Metropolitan Police Department, according to the source. "We just wanted the site to be a user-friendly clearinghouse."

Maps helping nationwide

Residents can sign up for email alerts and get detailed information if crime happens in the vicinity of their home in Washington D.C. The crime map is helping residents stay safe and report more crimes.

In Erie, Police Chief Randy Bowers explained the software is beneficial to officers and the GIS software is helping law enforcement agencies nationwide, Go Erie reported. Improved technology is being used more often to help combat crime and violence.

"What we're working on is having the maps be accessible to officers in the field," said Stumpo, according to the source. "That's one of the next steps. I think it's helping." 

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