New police map gives public eye into crime
A new crime statistics map available on the Quincy Police Department’s website means the community will be able to track crime around the city with the click of a keyboard.
The crime map, available on the “Quincy PD Crime Stats” link at www.quincypd.org, shows where crimes have been committed around the city for the past 30 days. The program also compares those last 30 days to the same period a year ago. Users will find bar graphs comparing those results.
Click onto the individual crimes below the bar graphs and the individual crimes committed in the last 30 days then are mapped out on a map of Quincy.
The numbers, which are drawn directly from the computers in officers’ patrol cars, update every morning at 4 a.m., said Quincy Chief Bob Heimbach.
The police department decided to put the crime statistics up as a service to the community, Heimbach said.
“To me, it’s complete transparency,” he said.
On the police department’s end, the new crime stat program, purchased last year, will be used to pinpoint any spikes in incidents around the city, Heimbach said. Then it will be the department’s job to explain those spikes, he added.
“We are trying to be proactive and get ahead of (crime),” he said.
The current stats show crime is up in Quincy; however, Heimbach suspects that’s because there are more officers on the streets this past year. The department has grown to 21 commissioned officers. (It had 16 officers in 2013.) More officers means more reporting, he said.
He suspects this is the reason for the increase because of conversations with the public.
“We aren’t getting the same outcry from the community that crime is out of control in everyday conversations.” he explained.
The crime statistics were made available just this week. The map will be able to show a variety of crimes, from animal complaints to thefts and burglaries.
However, the department still is deciding what information to put up, Heimbach said. For example, the public isn’t likely to be as interested in parental custody disputes as they are gang activity or vehicle prowls.
In some cases, incident groups also may not make sense to the public, Heimbach said. For example, malicious mischief, in many cases, is graffiti. So some rewording will have to be done for the website, he said.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com