Dover Police employ new crime mapping system

Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman with the Dover Police Department looks at a crime map of Dover on his office computer. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — The Dover Police Department is providing people interested in seeing exactly how safe their communities and neighborhoods are and where crime is taking place in the city with a powerful new tool.

The police department recently partnered with CrimeMapping.com to provide a new way for people to stay informed about crime in Dover, whether it be on computer, tablet or smartphone.

“CrimeMapping.com provides an easy-to-use platform that maps and analyzes crime data, alerts Dover citizens about crimes in their area and allows the Dover Police Department to quickly alert the public about crimes as they occur,” said Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman, spokesman for the Dover police.

“If residents of a neighborhood see that vehicle break-ins are on the rise in their area, they can keep an eye out for suspects and report them. So this site can definitely be used for crime prevention and looking out for suspicious persons. It can be beneficial in solving crimes as well.”

Scott MacDonald, vice president of product management for TriTech Software Systems, which developed CrimeMapping.com, said the site can help to build a bridge between the police and the community they serve.

“As our law enforcement agencies create their strategic plans and objectives for the future, a common theme resonates — strengthening the department’s relationship with the community,” he said. “TriTech stands ready to assist our customers to help increase citizen engagement.”

The Dover police previously used RAIDS Online for crime mapping information but transitioned to CrimeMapping.com to provide information quickly and more accurately.

“They’re very similar in data but the biggest difference is CrimeMapping.com ties directly into our reporting system, so it’s more accurate,” Master Cpl. Hoffman said. “It’s compatible with the reporting system we use now.”

He added that it will also save him time on the job in the Public Affairs office because CrimeMapping.com automatically syncs with the Dover Police Department’s records system to keep crime information updated online and in the mobile app.

CrimeMapping.com displays all the incidents on a map, grid and analytics dashboard along with some basic information about the incidents, including the type of crime, location type, block-level address, date and time.

Master Cpl. Hoffman added that via CrimeMapping.com citizens can view a map and grid with all the crimes in their area, sign up for neighborhood watch reports that automatically email a breakdown of recent crime activity and submit an anonymous tip about a crime directly to their law enforcement agency.

“Citizens are welcome to use it at their leisure,” he said. “The public can set up a variety of settings to receive alerts where they want to know crime is taking place, whether it be near their business or at home, and receive alerts.

“They can choose to receive alerts on a daily, weekly or monthly basis — whatever their preference is — and they can research past incidents as well.”

Master Cpl. Hoffman said CrimeMapping.com is beneficial to the public because it:

• Enables the public to stay informed about crime activity while they are away from their computer.

• Allows people to see crime activity based on their current GPS location.

• Empowers citizens to better understand crime trends and lower crime in their neighborhoods.

• Makes it even easier to access near real-time crime information provided by the department.

CrimeMapping.com is accessible on computer web browsers and via mobile apps. The app makes all the information accessible anywhere from a user’s mobile device.

The CrimeMapping.com online mobile app is available for free on both iPhone and Android platforms and is also available on mobile or desktop web browsers.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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