Arcadia police latest to join online crime-mapping trend

ARCADIA — The Arcadia Police Department has become the latest Western San Gabriel Valley law enforcement agency to begin posting information about crimes in online maps.
The department has now teamed with the Website CrimeMapping.com to provide residents with timely information about crime in their community. The project was publicly unveiled at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Arcadia police Lt. Bob Anderson said the program is intended to increase public involvement in policing and keep the public informed of law enforcement activity.
“We’re looking just to increase the flow if information to the community and to keep people engaged with the community,” Anderson said.
The better the public is informed about crimes and crime trends in their neighborhoods, they better prepared they are to be able to assist police, Anderson added.
“An informed public can help us out,” he said.
CrimeMapping.com takes information from police computers and plots that data on a map available to the public. Incidents generally appear on the Web site one day after they occur.
Through Arcadia Police Department’s Web site, www.arcadiapd.org, Internet surfers can also find the department’s news and information Web page and links to the department on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Nixle.
Anderson said police are simply trying to keep up with times.
“We’re just dealing with a different public at this point… (one that’s) more connected to the digital age,” he said.
The company that runs CrimeMapping.com, San Diego-based The Omega Group, already provided Arcadia police with computer systems, Anderson said. This made the process of joining up with CrimeMapping.com easy.
The Arcadia Police Department is the fifth Pasadena-area law enforcement agency to team up with this type of online crime-mapping Internet service.
The Pasadena and San Gabriel police department also post information on CrimeMapping.com, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Sierra Madre Police Department partner with a similar Website called CrimeReports.com.
In Pasadena, police joined with CrimeMapping.com early this year under Interim Police Chief Christopher Vicino.
Newly chosen Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, who will be sworn in next week, said he believed in the program and planned to continue participating in it.
“Information sharing is the life-blood of any law enforcement agency, and a point of interest for the community,” Sanchez said.
San Marino and South Pasadena police provide their own crime maps on their department Websites, though the statistics they contain may be more than a month old.
Alhambra police are not involved in a public crime-mapping program, however Police Chief Jim Hudson said his department is looking into it.
“We’ve considered it,” he said. “We’re actually analyzing crime-mapping programs as we speak.”
Hudson said he supported the idea of crime-mapping, but his department needs to weigh options and determine what programs may work with existing police computers.
“I think citizens absolutely want to be as informed, in real time, as they possibly can be,” he said, but added that more research is needed before a decision can be made.
“We do have to be very cognizant of spending taxpayer’s dollars,” Hudson said. “My department isn’t ready to purchase anything at present.”
The cost of participating in CrimeMapping.com is based on population, officials said. Agencies that patrol populations of 100,000 or less are charged $1,200 per year for the service, while agency’s patrolling areas with more than 100,000 people are charged $2,400 annually.

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  • Mike A

    Great program, took about 3 minutes to figure it out & sign-up, crime rate is much lower than expected thanks to PD and Anti-Crime programs also noticed new Neighborhood Watch signs posted in City.
    Be great to see number arrests posted also and Police PROFILING Tweakers, shaved heads, missing teeth,open sores on face,smelly, inked-up, that cruise the residential streets in junker vehicles.