Web Site Provides Police Crime Maps for Citizens

California's San Jose Police Department makes crime information available to citizens with crime maps and automated alerts.

by / October 17, 2007
CrimeReports.com and the San Jose Police Department have announced a new partnership that will provide easy to read crime maps and automated alerts to the citizens of San Jose. The service, located at http://www.crimereports.com or directly from the San Jose Police Web site http://www.sjpd.org, provides data in near-real time and is available now.

The service is free to members of the public, and allows citizens to receive alerts automatically via email if a crime occurs near their home. It also allows citizens to view reported crime activity on an easy to use map for any location within San Jose boundaries. The system identifies the date, time, event number, final event type, location, and final event disposition of Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) calls for service for the most recent thirty (30) days to date, and is updated nightly. Event location information is provided at the block level or intersection.

"By participating in CrimeReports.com, the San Jose Police Department is demonstrating its commitment to service and safety by making crime information available to the citizens of San Jose," said Greg Whisenant, co-founder and CEO of Public Engines, which makes the CrimeReports.com application. "Chief Davis and his staff are forward-looking, providing timely, location specific information to the public when some law enforcement agencies are reluctant to do so," he said.

The San Jose Police expressed an early interest in CrimeReports.com, allowing them to become one of thirty "Foundation Partners" nationwide that provide guidance and input into the direction of the service. Upcoming new features driven by the Foundation Partners include:

  • Analytics and dashboards for public use;
  • Video integration, allowing law enforcement to attach digital video to specific crimes when it is available;
  • SMS alerting, allowing the SJPD to send alerts to specific neighborhoods if specifically requested by the department.
  • Neighborhood Watch tools, where residents of specific neighborhoods can contribute information.

Notably, the San Jose Police Department is the first department nationwide to integrate using the "CrimeReports Connector," a software program that manages the automated connection between the law enforcement agency and CrimeReports.com. Chief Davis' staff managed the integration and made critical contributions in the development of the Connector which takes advantage of San Jose's CAD data: high volume, rich context data delivered securely to CrimeReports.com automatically every night.

"The Chief's ongoing attention was instrumental in optimizing the performance of the application, both for the SJPD, other departments, and the communities served," said Christian Faulconer, co-founder and COO of Public Engines. "Their commitment and staff expertise will have a lasting impact, and we are extremely pleased that the San Jose Police Department is using and contributing to the service."

The service is also an ideal implementation of the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), the authorized data sharing protocol developed and supported by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ). Using GJXDM as the underlying technology gives the application much more versatility and flexibility. For example, if adjacent departments choose to integrate with the service, side by side data will be readily available for both alerting and analytics. It will also allow for additional integration at the regional, state and even national level.

About CrimeReports.com CrimeReports.com is a Web site that provides tools to help law enforcement agencies communicate directly with members of the public using high impact maps and automated alerts. The service was launched in beta with the Metropolitan Police of Washington, DC in March 2007, and was made available to any accredited law enforcement agency in the United States starting in August 2007. The CrimeReports.com service can be integrated with any law enforcement records management system, and uses multiple technologies to deliver its service, including Google Maps and the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM). The Web site is a service of Public Engines, Inc. based in Salt Lake City.