Police Use Online Mapping Services to Help Fight Crime

USA Today has a story on how police departments across the US are adding a new tool to their crime-fighting arsenal: online maps. A few startups out there are using public records to map out crime, which helps police departments track crime trends.

Police departments are then able to send out alerts to the community. The knowledge empowers communities to keep an eye out. It’s a modern Neighborhood Watch program.

Almost 1,000 police departments have signed up for these services. Providers include CrimeReports.com, CrimeMapping.com, and SpotCrime.com.

Police have also used existing online maps to creatively solve crimes. Google Street View was used to help locate a missing child this past January.

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