- The Washington Times - Friday, June 20, 2014

The D.C. police union has unveiled an online crime map on their website, meant to provide users with a new resource to monitor crime in city neighborhoods.

The crime mapping technology is similar to a tool the Metropolitan Police Department already offers on their website, but information from the union’s mapping system can be broken down in ways Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Delroy Burton calls more “user friendly.”

Describing features of the new site, which can be found at http://crimedc.com/map, Mr. Burton said crime data for the entire city is available in one search and can be broken down by neighborhood rather than the police department’s service area boundary system.

“The average resident may not know their Police Service Area, but they know their neighborhood,” he said. “We just wanted the site to be a user-friendly clearinghouse.”

The union’s site also features Google street view images of the block where a crime is recorded and gives users the ability to sign up for an email service that will provide updates about crime in individual neighborhoods. Crime data on the site spans back to 2011.

MPD’s crime mapping site was launched in 2006, but it had to be shut down for several months in 2012 due to a series of technical glitches that occurred as the department transitioned over to a new data management system.

Mr. Burton said the union’s site pulls crime data from the police department, so it might lose functionality if MPD’s crime map was shut down again.