SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Police Department has partnered with data giant LexisNexis to unveil a 'near-real-time' online crime map.
It's an interactive online tool to track police calls for service and crime within the city.
“Often times, your neighbor asks ‘Oh, what was all that police activity?’ or you see a bunch of police activity in your neighborhood,” said SBPD’s Anthony Wagner. “Well, in near-real-time, probably the next day, you can go to the website, look at your address and see what that activity was.”
The map can filter by date range, location or type of crime. It can also provide a ‘heat signature’ filter that shows how often one or multiple types of crime are reported in an area.
The goal of the Community Crime Map is to help the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe.
“I think it helps people make decisions,” Wagner said. “Helping them better understand all the aspects of their community.”
Residents can also sign up for email alerts or submit an anonymous tip in more than 100 languages.
The map provides the identical data that police use, as it automatically syncs with the Police Department’s records system in near-real time.
Locals say that transparency makes the city safer.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Ray, a Santa Barbara resident. “I think it’s good news for all of us to know what’s going on. And keeping the safety of the public for everybody.”
Wagner says that the public's response has been positive so far, and that some have called the station asking for help navigating the map online.
The map is available through the Santa Barbara Police Department's website. It's located under "Online Features" and then "Crime Activity Reports."
You can also view it here.