June 23, 2010 By Russell Nichols
In Pinellas County, Fla., now it only takes one click for residents to find details about crime in the area.
In June, the Sheriff's Office and Business Technology Services (BTS) unveiled the Crime Viewer website, a mapping program designed to provide citizens with a 24/7 snapshot of local crime.
Powered by the county's GIS database, the Crime Viewer displays reported crimes (burglary, assault, theft and drug possession) on a map, which users can customize based on proximity to an address, or the date or type of offense. The system updates every 24 hours, and residents can plot crime data that occurred up to one year in the past, said Cecilia Barreda, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office.
"It's a mapping program," Barreda said. "It provides a snapshot of what types of crime are happening in a community around the clock."
Numerous municipal police departments collaborated in this effort to contribute data to the new mapping tool. The database is also linked to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender database, giving citizens access to sex offenders' photos and addresses, according to the Sheriff's Office.
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