RAIDS Online lets anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone access crime information on their block or in their neighborhood. The system is tied to the police department’s record systems and is updated every 24 hours. Cases that involve an active investigation won’t show up, though, until the investigation is over.
On a recent day, for example, the mapping application showed a drunken-driving arrest at Duckwood Drive and Lexington Avenue from Aug. 16, a theft from a vehicle in the 1700 block of Kyllo Lane from Aug. 22, a domestic assault in the 2000 block of Silver Bell Road from Aug. 13, and dozens of other police calls in the city.
“There isn’t any reason not to make crime information available to [residents] so they can make better decisions about their own safety and help them protect their own property,” said Eagan Police Chief Jim McDonald. “If a police car shows up in your neighborhood, it could create a sense of uneasiness. Now there’s the ability to see what transpired.”
The mapping application can be searched by address, neighborhood and type of crime — for example, if a person is interested in where the most thefts took place, the database will find that information.
Users don’t have to sign in to the system, but they can sign up for neighborhood crime watch reports; they’ll be automatically e-mailed a breakdown of recent criminal activity. Users also can leave anonymous tips for police via the app or website.
RAIDS Online won’t keep track of every police call to every address, but it will show up if the call generates a police report.
The RAIDS Online mapping application also is used by police departments in Apple Valley, Lakeville, Richfield and Bloomington, among others.
It can be found in the Android and iPhone app stores and online at www.startribune.com/a2462.
“In the information age, people expect to have this information at their fingertips, and our goal is to make sure they get it,” McDonald said.