November 03, 2009 —Yakima Police Department in Washington has gone live with CrimeMapping.com, a nationwide service that allows residents to map out and report on crime activity near any address. Now the communities of Yakima, Selah, and Union Gap are able to stay well informed regarding crime in their area. CrimeMapping.com is part of an overall implementation of the CompStat (short for “comparison statistics”) policing model, which increases the public’s trust in and cooperation with the police, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of police operations. Greater transparency helps strengthen Yakima Police Department’s relationship with the people it serves.
In November 2008, Yakima Police Department started a Crime and Intelligence Analysis Unit, hired Cesar Abreu to lead it, and charged him with bringing the system into the 21st century. Abreu recommended CrimeMapping.com and the site went live on September 1, 2009. “It has made our operations much more efficient,” he says. Officers can also use the Web based public mapping system in the field as needed to gain intelligence about any neighborhood.
By entering addresses into CrimeMapping.com, citizens can access the latest information, which is displayed on a map using symbols to indicate different types of crimes; they can also select crime types, date ranges, and a geographic buffer. So, for example, a local resident concerned about auto theft can display the locations of all such crimes in the past two weeks within a mile of their address. Citizens can also generate reports as well as subscribe to the system to receive automatic e-mail updates for any area of their choice.
“CrimeMapping.com represents our effort to help the police better serve their public and in so doing help build safer communities.”
Bruce Silva, Director of Research and Operations, The Omega Group
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