The Wilmington Police Department is using a new tool to keep citizens informed about crime happening around them.
The department connected to CrimeMapping.com last week. It’s a platform already used by Delaware State Police and four other law enforcement departments in the First State - as well as departments across the country.
Website users enter an address or zip code, then view recent crimes near that location through an interactive map, color-coded by type of crime. Users can also set up a customized email alert.
There’s also an app version for smartphones.
Dover Police Department has been using CrimeMapping.com since January. Before that, they used RAIDS Online.
Spokesperson Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman says the web tool is accurate, efficient, and doesn’t require any extra work from the department.
“We have an officer, boots on the ground, going to these calls, verifying that something did occur, and then documenting it in a police report. And then this system is pulling it from those reporting methods,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman says he’s observed that CrimeMapping.com posts crimes between several hours and two days after a police report is filed.
Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy, now in his second year, says getting the department on CrimeMapping.com is part of his plan to increase transparency and engage the community.
“A public that’s more knowledgeable about what’s going on, that’s where we can actually get a heck of a lot more help,” said Tracy.
He adds that the new tool builds on the department’s other efforts such as weekly CompStat reports and officers’ attendance at civic association meetings.
According to Tracy, the department is paying about $1200 a year for the license.
Delaware State Police began using the website in 2016.
CrimeMapping.com was developed by national public safety software company TriTech.