Of the nation’s 15 largest cities, only Detroit does not publicly release up-to-date crime statistics — data routinely used by other police agencies to fight crime by putting neighborhoods on alert, says the Detroit News. The most recent crime statistics on the city’s Web site are from 2005.
One company, which is used by more 25 police departments including New Orleans and San Diego, charges cities $199 a month to process the information and post it on the Internet with an interactive map. In New York City, which uses in-house staff to do the job, statistics for every neighborhood are updated weekly and any trends are noted. The Dallas Police Department began releasing neighborhood-level data in the last several months. Public Engines Inc. is the company behind online data posting in Dallas and elsewhere. Most police departments maintain two databases: one that records 911 dispatch calls and another that records all complaints made to police. Public Engines can manipulate these and then post information on the Internet using Google maps.