In most large cities, information is only a keystroke away for residents seeking police reports, maps plotting car break-ins, and statistics about burglaries in their neighborhoods. Not yet in Cleveland, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The police department Web site will be upgraded in the coming months, said Safety Director Martin Flask. The city hired a company to create crime maps online and a system for residents to file police reports from a computer. The city expects to spend $40,000 for the system with California-based Coplogic Inc. and about $2,000 a month for the crime data and maps.
Councilman Kevin Conwell, chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, reviewed other police departments’ sites at the newspaper’s request. He said many sites are user-friendly and provide a wealth of information for residents. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina revamped its site about 18 months ago. Along with crime data, crime maps, and online forms, the Charlotte site posts information on all homicides, including crime location and telephone numbers for investigators. Atlanta residents can search the history of major crimes, including murders, robberies, assaults and auto thefts, and auto break-ins. The data pinpoint the location on a map and provide the date, neighborhood and incident number of the crimes. The most current data are about two weeks behind.