Updated: 02/06/2014 12:59 PM
Created: 02/06/2014 12:11 PM KSTP.com
By: Naomi Pescovitz
The Minneapolis Police Department is jumping on the technology bandwagon. On Thursday, MPD launched a new web-based crime mapping tool through Colorado company BAIR Analytics.
MPD says the program, available on computers and smartphones, will help the department achieve their goal of being more transparent.
When a user enters a location, location dots come up on a regional map. Different color dots show different types of crime like homicide, burglary, theft and sexual assault. The data dates back three years and is updated daily.
Before the program was installed, the Minneapolis Police website had weekly PDF crime updates.
Twenty-five other Minnesota agencies are also linked in to the program. BAIR representatives say they expect to have about 4,000 member agencies nationwide by the end of the year.
Residents can also sign up for crime alerts and enter anonymous tips.
"We're hoping that this isn't just an information tool for the public, but this actually helps us solve crime. Because creating greater situational awareness by residents in their neighborhoods, hopefully we'll get more phone calls more connections," said Minneapolis Police Commander Scott Gerlicher.
The program is free to Minneapolis police and users of the site or app.