Open Letter to City Hall: How About Crime Mapping Software for the New Rochelle Police Department?

Written By: Robert Cox

99DF02EB-2CAF-40EF-A723-8B5BC25F2AE5.jpgIn its recently released Annual Report for 2008, the New Rochelle Police Department announced it had completed its transition to a new police management software system which includes a database for tracking calls for service, incidents and crime reports. With such a system in place, the NRPD is now set up to begin sharing near real-time crime data with residents.

Two new services are now available to provide such a service while helping local law enforcement team up with citizens to provide a low-cost, high tech solution to a 21st century crime watch program. With local police forces stretched thin, cooperation with the public is essential. For far too long residents have not had a good way to know about crimes occurring in their neighborhoods and police have had no good way to communicate detailed crime data with residents, neighborhood associations, community groups, schools and other stakeholders in the New Rochelle community. These services solve these problems and deserve serious consideration by our City government and law enforcement officials.

There are two well-regarded options, each with videos (below) that provide information about their services. Be sure to watch the videos. As you will see, both are web “portals” designed to help law enforcement agencies provide the public with valuable information about crime activity by neighborhood. They assist police departments in reducing crime through a better informed citizenry. They work directly with each agency, protect victim identities and offer “alert” services. Crime alerts allows residents to subscribe to automated crime reports about activity in your neighborhood; a resident can receive text messages or emails when pre-selected types of crimes occur within a specified radius around their home.

These services provide law enforcement agencies with an affordable and easy-to-use Web-based service for managing and controlling the sharing of crime data with the public, in near real-time. Community members can then access their neighborhood crime information for free, empowering them to make informed decisions to help improve the safety of their families, friends, property and the community at large.

They are in 11 states now and have a video which explains how the service works (below).

They are working with a number of large law enforcement agencies, can set up a police department in a matter of hours and would charge New Rochelle $200 a month to provide this service. They have video showing press conferences where various law enforcement officials are announcing their partnership with