COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is implementing a new tool that officials hope will help them solve cases quickly.
The Sheriff's Department collaborated with the Boone County Information Technology Department to create the reported incident viewer. The viewer consists of a map of Boone County, with locations of reported crimes marked with labeled and color-coded dots. More detailed information about each crime on the map is included.
The map works in real time, but there is a natural lag between the time an officer files a report and the time the incident report appears on the map, said Capt. Gary German of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.
The Sheriff’s Department began development of the incident viewer at the beginning of the year in response to the high number of requests for crime information in areas around the county. German said potential homebuyers and renters considering moving to Boone County were especially curious.
The incident viewer is the first system of its kind for the department, which uses the map to analyze data and spot patterns to help solve cases. Previously, officers had to conduct hand searches to connect incidents to a specific area, day or time.
In the future, German said he hopes to include traffic accidents and driving while intoxicated arrests on the map. He said that could enable the department to focus resources in certain areas in the county that might need extra help at times that seem to have a higher number of driving incidents.
While the Sheriff’s Department hopes the incident viewer will increase productivity, German also points out that “anytime the public knows what’s going on in their neighborhood, it’s a good thing.”