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Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies Use Web Site To Share Crime Information With Public

A partnership between four San Francisco Bay Area law enforcement agencies and software developer Public Engines is putting near real-time local crime information just a few clicks away on the Internet.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff and the Palo Alto, Gilroy and Los Gatos police departments are using to give both the departments and community members a comprehensive look at crime issues in the communities.

“We live in the information age and share the police departments’ vision of making our communities stronger by sharing critical, pertinent information through the use of cutting-edge tools,” said Greg Whisenant, president and CEO of Public Engines, provider of “By using, these departments are demonstrating their commitment to their respective communities by sharing valuable crime data at the speed of information.”

The service is free to all community members, and Web site visitors can sign up to receive e-mail alerts of crimes happening near them.

Crime information is presented in a Google Maps mashup where residents can view the type, date and block of the incident along with any other data the law enforcement agencies provide to the site.

And officials from the police departments said having the crime information so readily accessible to the public only help enforcement efforts.

“One of our goals as a department has been to strengthen our relationship with the communities we serve,” said Chief Scott Seaman of the Los Gatos Police Department. “ is making this possible by bringing the information to our community in a much more efficient manner. Having the community on board really helps out. By providing accurate crime information, we can multiply the number of eyes and ears we have on the streets.”

Along with the new Bay Area members, law enforcement agencies from 15 states currently use the site with the goal improve the relationship with the residents served and making communities safer.

“We value our relationship with the community and have worked to share important information with them through our Web site,” said Chief Gregg Giusiana of the Gilroy Police Department. “However, with, this information does more than just give a status on crime in our community. Rather it is a way to get the community aware and involved in community policing. Knowledge is power, and the more our community members know about what is going on around them, the more they’ll be able to help us keep the entire city of Gilroy safer.”

About the Author

Brent Dirks is senior e-news/Web editor for Security Products and Network-Centric Security magazines.

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