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Newest online gadget lets citizens look at neighborhood crime

Friday, July 10, 2009 | 6:10 p.m. CDT; updated 6:32 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 10, 2009

COLUMBIA — Have you ever wanted to see a map of crime in your neighborhood? With a new online tool from the Columbia Police Department that went online Friday, you'll be able to do just that.

CrimeReports.com will allows users to search for crimes by date, location and type of crime committed. Data will be added to the Web site each day, and reports currently go back to Jan. 10.

With the Police Department in the process of redefining its patrol beats, the new map will help the department and residents understand where crime is taking place, Public Information Officer Jessie Haden said in a news release.

Approximately 5 percent of crimes will not be mapped because the Web site plots the crimes using Google Maps, which does not have all Columbia roads in the system, the release states.

CrimeReports.com is one of the many tools available on the Columbia Police Department Web site.

Haden said the Police Department is working on adding more to its online reporting system in the near future to help residents report problems such as larceny and identity theft. This could include an additional type of larceny report and a link to information on identity theft and an identity theft affidavit.

"We're going to make the capability for people to do identity theft reports online as well when they don't have suspect information," Haden said.

With the online tools you can:

  • Search almost any address at CrimeReports.com to find crimes committed in your area. You can also check maps that show crimes by street on the city of Columbia Web site.
  • Submit an anonymous tip to the CrimeStoppers Web site. To text a tip, send it to 59925 and in the body of the message type the keyword 875Tips, followed by a space and the tip information.
  • Request a security evaluation of homes and offices. This evaluation, done by the Police Department, informs Columbians on how to keep their houses and businesses as safe as possible.
  • Locate registered sex offenders on the Boone County Sheriff Department's Web site.
  • Request that the Columbia Police Department watch your home while you go on vacation. It's called a "Watch in Passing Form" and it should be filled out at least three business days before you leave for a trip.
  • Identify suspects on Columbia’s most wanted list.
  • File compliments and complaints for police officers through the Police Department Web site. 
  • Search the neighborhood watch program Web site for crime statistics, crime prevention tips, a newsletter and general information about the program.
  • Register home alarm systems online or by calling 874-7400; you can also find information about Columbia’s alarm ordinance.

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