The service, CrimeMapping.com, takes police reports provided by the department and plots them on a map, along with information about the type, location and date of the crime.
Crimes are mapped within 24 hours of the police taking the report, said police Chief Ron Price, and the site will even send subscribers email alerts for new crimes.
“Any time you can leverage technology and help get information out to the public, it’s a good thing,” Price said.
The site tracks 15 types of crimes, ranging from assault and fraud to vehicle break-ins and sex crimes. Price said those 15 categories will capture pretty much everything reported in Bozeman.
“These are the (crimes) the community most wants to know about,” he said.
Price said he hopes in particular that Bozeman residents see reports of serial crimes near their homes, such as vehicle break-ins and burglaries, and take steps to protect themselves and their neighborhoods.
CrimeMapping.com is a product of the San Diego-based Omega Group, a company specializing in mapping data for law enforcement, public safety and education agencies. The company claims on its website to work with hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country.
The mapping service costs the police department $100 per month. Price said that money comes from funds already budgeted for community education.