Crimemapping comes to Carlton CountyThanks to federal grant dollars, you can now find it on the Internet. Crimemapping.com, a Web site used in Duluth for over a year, is now accessible to much of Northeastern Minnesota.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Up until now, if you wanted to know what kinds of crime occurred in your Carlton County neighborhood, you had to check with a law enforcement agency, the court report or rely on neighbors for information.
Thanks to federal grant dollars, you can now find it on the Internet.
Crimemapping.com, a Web site used in Duluth for over a year, is now accessible to much of Northeastern Minnesota.
Nearly 40 law enforcement agencies that belong to the Northeast Law Enforcement Administrator’s Council (NLEAC) subscribe to the service, including Cloquet, Fond du Lac and Moose Lake police departments and the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office.
The program plots and displays crime activity by date, time, type and location. It lets a viewer enter any address into the system and then displays any of 15 types of crimes from assault to drug violations to burglaries within a 2-mile radius. Those who visit the Web site can also register to receive crime alerts via e-mail.
“This is a great tool in creating awareness,” said Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake. “When citizens are more informed they can look out for [the kinds of crimes] that happen in their area, and work with their neighbors and us to stop it. There are a very limited number of us out there so we need the public’s help.”
According to Lake, the program is working in Duluth.
“Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says he’s gotten a lot of positive feedback,” Lake said.
The program pulls its information directly from the records system used by area law enforcement, but because it only pulls crimes that fit under the 15 categories, it does not show every call responded to by officers.
“It doesn’t show everything our officers do in a shift, but it’s a good indicator of any significant crime activity in an area,” said Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande.
He also said his officers will use the information to quickly pinpoint any problem areas within the city.
“It’s the modern version of a department having a crime map on the wall,” he said.
The program is grant-funded for the near future, but Lake said the funding could dry up at some point.
“If the program works for us and is well-received, we’d look at each agency contributing some amount to keeping up with maintenance,” she said.