Middletown Police Offer Access To Crime Data Mapping Website
MIDDLETOWN, Feb 23, 2013 (The Hartford Courant - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The police department said Friday that it has signed on to a crime statistics mapping system that will let residents keep track of crime in their neighborhoods.
The RAIDS Online system, developed by BAIR Analytics, collects data from the department's records each morning. Residents will have free access to locations and types of crimes for any area of the city.
"It makes us an open book so the community knows what we're doing," said Lt. Heather Desmond, the police department spokeswoman.
She said the system will allow residents to view data from their neighborhoods and be more vigilant about criminal activity. For example, she said, if someone is able to use the data and tell that there has been a recent string of home burglaries in one area, they might be more likely to call police and report a suspicious car.
"It's a matter of awareness," Desmond said. "If they can see that there have been a lot of car burglaries at a condo complex, they could look at [the data] and say 'Maybe I shouldn't leave my cell phone in the car overnight.'"
Data is available going back until July 2011, when the department updated some of its computer systems.
"It's a huge crime analysis tool for us," Desmond said. "I could see our detective bureau using it a lot."
The system will allow the department to better respond to criminal activity by assigning extra police presence more quickly, she said.
The public will have access to several types of data, including types of crimes, dates and locations. The police department will have access to close to 100 different types of data for its own internal use.
There is also a free RAIDS Online mobile phone app available for download. To view the maps, go to http://www.raidsonline.com and search for Middletown. Crime statistics through RAIDS Online are also available for Berlin and West Haven.
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