A new online crime-mapping tool allows Royal Oak residents to see what is occurring in their neighborhoods and notify the police department of any suspicious activities.
Interim Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue announced availability of the crime mapping website, crimemapping.com, Wednesday. The website displays location, date and time of 14 types of criminal activity, including:
- disturbing the peace
- drugs/alcohol vioations
- driving under the influence (DUI)
- motor vehicle theft
- vehicle break-ins/theft
Sex crimes are not mapped and there is a glitch in reporting disturbing the peace crimes, which is being looked into, O'Donohue said.
The interactive map will populate different icons for the different crime categories within a time frame set by the user. By default, the maps shows crimes within the past week, but users can go back as far as Dec. 16, 2011, and quickly identify the types of crimes occurring in their neighborhood or throughout the city.
O’Donohue said it is important to note that the tool only maps crimes, not all calls for service.
Additionally, residents have the ability to sign up for free crime alerts, which inform residents when a crime has been committed in up to a two-mile radius of their home.
“The map gives you a good idea what is going around your house,” the chief said.
He hopes a better-informed city population will be able to aid the police in responding to crime.
For example, if a resident notices a suspicious car in his or her neighborhood and looks at the map and notices there have been recent vehicle break-ins nearby, O’Dohonue hopes that person will call the police.
“Rather than wonder what is going on, people now have information,” O’Donohue said. “There are links right on the website that allow users to send an email directly to the police."
Offering the new crime mapping tool is part of meeting the police department’s ongoing effort to keep residents informed while also a City Commission objective, brought forth from the Strategic Planning meeting: Communication - Implement communication systems using technology to communicate to residents in “real time.”
Notes about crimemapping.com
- The map only indicates crime, and not all calls for service.
- Sex crimes are not mapped.
- Unfounded crimes, such as a resident believes he was robbed only to find the object he was missing, are removed from the map.
- The map expands to view crimes in neighboring communities including Detroit, Novi, Livonia and Plymouth.
- There are also smartphone versions of the application.