Juneau now on national website for crime postings

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thinking about buying that house in Juneau but are worried about it sitting there all alone when you are at work? Or how about the safety of your children if they walk to school? Juneau residents can now view an up-to-date map of criminal activities as part of the police departments inclusion in the national CrimeReports.com website.

"We can never combat the crime problem on our own," Juneau Police Department Chief Greg Browning said. "If we want to be an effective force, in crime it never hurts to keep the citizenry informed on what those issues are, or lack there of. My overall philosophy is to work with the community to address the crime problems we have."

A link on the JPD website allows online viewers to pull up a Google map that show recently reported crimes. Icons represent the various crimes, such as burglary and assault, and a chart on the bottom explains the icon. Registered sex offenders are also charted on the map.

The public can now see where the city is having issues concerning crime. Running your computer mouse over the icon shows what type of crime and the block location.

"They can see the same thing our crime analysts are looking at," Browning said. "Just more information for the public. We like to provide as much information as we can to the community."

JPD pays a fee to have the site updated daily by Utah vendor CrimeReports.com. They receive crime data directly from JPD via secure web based software. An integration team from the vendor installed the software on a JPD computer. It pulls information from the JPD's Records Management System (RMS) or Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) updates. Whatever information police contribute on a daily basis is put onto the map. The site holds a six-month archive of Juneau crime data.

JPD website hits have been increasing tremendously over the past months, a sign that people want to know about crime in their neighborhoods, Browning said.

"Obviously that tells me people are using the computer as a means of communication more and more," he said. "It also tells me we are succeeding in our mission to make the website a two-way communication tool with the community instead of what it was, say, five years ago when it was mostly just a bulletin board with stale information on it.

"We have made a concerted effort to revamp our web site and make it a true communication tool between the community and the department."

Contact Klas Stolpe at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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