Starting Sept. 12, the Hayward police department (HPD) will be implementing a complete live rollout of its new software for keeping track of and informing the community about crime in the city.
CrimeMapping, a software tool that is in use by various law enforcement agencies across the country, keeps a digital map of crime in the cities in which it is implemented.
After police reports are compiled, within 24 hours, that information is fed from the department’s computer aided dispatch system into the mapping system.
Those incidents are marked with “pins” dropped onto the maps, with clickable, interactive data detailing the types of crimes committed, dates and times, and general locations of these incidents. Each crime has a corresponding icon, enabling a quick viewing of crime in an area at different radiuses.
“We’re not going to list every crime,” said HPD Chief Diane Urban. “There are certain things that are protected with juveniles, and we want to be very careful,” said Urban.
This data set is made available online for anyone who wishes to view it, through the CrimeMapping website. This website is tacked with colorful markers across digital representations of a number of Bay Area communities and cities, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Alameda, Richmond and Oakland.
“CrimeMapping software is something that we’ve been developing,” said Urban. “We’ve been working on beta testing it, and making sure that it works.”
At the Sept. 11 city council meeting, Urban says the HPD will hold a working session to introduce the finer points and details of the software to the councilmembers. She said they will go over the flexibilities the department has ownership over in regards to what crimes will report.
“The CrimeMapping software is there for the public use,” said Sgt. Eric Krimm, the supervisor of the homicide and major assaults unit, highlighting this effort by the HPD will serve to better inform the public with relevant information about incidents in their city.
Urban said the complete rollout of this new mapping system was dependent on the HPD first completing adoption of its new records management system, which occurred in January of this year.
According to the CrimeMapping website, the software aims to assist police in “reducing crime through a better-informed citizenry. Creating more self-reliance among community members is a great benefit to community oriented policing efforts everywhere and has been proven effective in combating crime.”
The CrimeMapping software has a companion iPhone app for citizens who wish to view crime near their current location, or in other regions across the country.
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at 11:42 am.