Residents can learn about crimes in their neighborhoods using an interactive map that provides up-to-date information.
Blaine residents can zoom in on crime in their city using a new online interactive map.
The Police Department has announced that it will be working with CrimeReports, an international company specializing in online crime-fighting tools such as maps, alert messaging, anonymous tipping and data analytics.
"Providing reliable, timely information to our citizens is one of our top priorities, because an informed public is a safer public," Police Chief Chris Olsen said in a statement.
The program uses police reports from Blaine that it converts every day into different-colored points on a map. The points never reveal a specific address and represent 17 crime categories such as homicide, assault, and property crimes.
"It gives people a sense of what is happening, that allows them to react on it appropriately," said William Kilmer, CEO of CrimeReports.
For example, he said, if a rash of burglaries broke out in a community, residents could respond by leaving on exterior lights at night, securing their homes and reporting any suspicious activity through the software's crime tip application. The feature gives users the ability to report crime or offer tips anonymously.
In 2011, Kilmer said, the CrimeReports tipping application was responsible for about 20,000 arrests and the recovery of more than $300 million in stolen property and contraband nationwide.
Kilmer said the goal is to someday have complete nationwide coverage.
The public has free access to the service at www.crimereports.com, where people can sign up for daily, weekly or monthly e-mail alerts. A free application also is available through iTunes.
Kristian Hernandez • 612-673-4217