CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The city of Cedar Rapids is hoping a new interactive mapping tool will make a dent in preventing and solving crime.
The new software produces a map of the city and marks recent crimes. It gives people real-time crime awareness as it automatically publishes new information each day.
Information from police systems such as the dispatch center automatically goes into the new crime map.
“A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s an easier way to get information out,” said City of Cedar Rapids Chief Information Officer Nic Roberts.
With a glance at a map, people can find out exactly what’s happening close to home. From homicides to theft, it just takes a click of a mouse to get the details.
“We want to continue to be transparent and increase community awareness so that everybody is aware of what’s going on in their neighborhood,” said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman.
“It also provides sex offender information if that’s something you are interested in,” Roberts said.
Chief Jerman said this also will help the department work with residents to solve more crimes.
“If a citizen clicks on a specific crime that they have knowledge about, they can submit information anonymously, via the texting feature,” Chief Jerman said.
There’s also a free App for your smartphone. If you want to find it, just search “crime reports” in the App store.
Steve Powers was enjoying the summer day on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t worry much about crime in his quiet northeast Cedar Rapids neighborhood. A few things popped up on the map near his home. He said he didn’t know they were there.
“No. I had no idea,” Powers said.
He tells us he thinks it’s a good idea and thinks people with children or with concerns about crime might log on. He, however, doesn’t plan on frequently visiting the crime map.
“I don’t even own a smartphone. I might if I was sitting in front of the computer, maybe, but I’m not that high-tech,” Powers said.
For those who do want to use it, the city believes this high-tech tool can help prevent and solve crimes across the city.
The city said the crime map program came along with the text-a-tip program, without any additional cost.
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