Councilman to Baltimore police: Post crime stats online
By By Justin Fenton
Jan 09, 2012 at 6:10 PM
A Baltimore city councilman is asking that the Baltimore Police Department join most of its big-city counterparts and begin posting crime data on its web site.
Police currently track all sorts of data, and meet weekly to pore over it at sessions called Comstat. But that data stays in-house or is released at community meetings, and Councilman Brandon Scott said police should post it on their web site.
He did a survey of the 40 biggest police departments in the country, and found 22 of them post data online. He singled out Dallas, which posts data weekly and broken down by police district.
“Although we have increased our use of technology and level of transparency in recent years, it’s obvious when you compare Baltimore to other major cities that we should be doing more,” Scott said in a statement.
Anthony Guglielmi said the data is readily available to anyone who asks, though he admitted that it's not widely disseminated in part because police want citizens to get involved with their community groups, who receive such data monthly.
"We want people to be involved with the community crime fight and not necessarily just logging on and looking at crime stats. But that's not to say that down the road we won't look at posting detailed crime stats [online]," he said.
Right now, the police department's web site has a section called "Crime statistics," but it looks like officials got weary of the task: they posted three months worth of data before abandoning the effort. Data can also be mapped using the city's Open Baltimore site.
Here's a look at what police commanders have available, upon request of course: