The Great Falls Police Department recently announced that data about reported crimes in our community can now be viewed via an online map.
The GFPD partnered with CrimeMapping.com, allowing people to see general locations of reported crimes and the types of incidents that officers are responding to. The map allows users to zoom in on specific areas, click on icons for more information about specific incidents, and customize the map to highlight specific types of incidents.
You can also set up alerts to receive email notifications about incidents, and customize the emails based on type of crime, location, and date.
According to the GFPD, the site pulls data from the agency's records management system every 12 hours, usually at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. They note that the information does not include certain types of incidents, such as "...traffic stops, crashes, lost children/persons, animal related incidents, alarms, or other non-criminal law enforcement activity."
The GFPD said in a Facebook post: "We are excited to offer a new tool designed to give a more in depth look at reports of crimes happening in Great Falls. With this new tool we hope to increase transparency and further grow our partnership with the community. This cutting edge interactive technology allows community members to run reports for specific neighborhoods and track crime trends. We hope increased awareness will empower community members to more frequently report suspicious activity, to take measures to better protect property, and to have a deeper understanding of what GFPD does to serve and protect Great Falls every day."
The GFPD says the software required a $15,000 upfront cost and will cost $8,000 per year; initial funding was obtained via a state grant.
Other Montana communities available on the site include Billings, Bozeman, and Flathead County.
Click here to visit the CrimeMapping website; here is a video showing how to use the site and set up e-mail alerts: