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SHOW ME THE RECORDS: Columbia crime tracker

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | 12:01 a.m. CST

Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.

For a complete list of Show Me the Records, go to columbiamissourian.com/records.

The records: The City of Columbia signed up to use a crime tracking service called Regional Analysis & Information Data Sharing, or RAIDS, Online. The site brands itself as a free resource for law enforcement and the public to follow different types of crimes in their areas. So far, Columbia, Raytown and Lee's Summit are the only Missouri cities that have joined.

The records are in the form of an interactive map with different symbols denoting different types of crimes. Users can zoom in on an area and filter by 27 types of crimes, including homicides, arson, burglaries, shoplifting, alcohol violations and traffic incidents.

Why you'd want them: Users can access a wealth of data that's frequently pulled almost daily from Columbia Police Department records. In addition to the interactive map, there's a list of crimes that include date, address and arresting agency information. For those interested, there's an analytics tab that graphs frequency of types of crime, the days on which crimes occur with an in-graph breakdown by crime type and the times at which crimes occur on certain days.

Where you get the records: Go to the city's webpage, gocolumbiamo.com. Along the left-hand side, click on the "Public Safety and Courts" link. Under the drop-down menu, click on "Crime Statistics." The next page redirects users to the RAIDS Online site with a disclaimer about leaving the city's webpage.

How much it will cost: These records are free.


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