Monday, October 15, 2007

New on our Web: Daily crime map for Paso Robles

If you have ever wondered where thefts, burglaries and other crimes are occurring in Paso Robles, you now have a way to find out:
Just log onto, scroll down on the right side of the page and click on Crime Maps. That will take you to a map that highlights all incidents reported to the city of Paso Robles every day.
It’s the second city where our work with the local police department has yielded this benefit. We launched a similar crime map for the city of San Luis Obispo a few months ago. Both police department chiefs – Deborah Linden of SLO and Lisa Solomon of Paso Robles – also will be making sure their department offers regular tips to residents on this same site.
While we will continue to publish stories of the most serious crimes in these two cities, the online maps will give you far more detailed information on your communities than we have space for in the daily Tribune.
Please keep in mind that calls to the police for service sometimes don’t reflect the nature of an incident. A burglary may be reported, for example, but it could turn out to be false. We’ve also excluded exact addresses for incidents involving allegations of rape, sexual assaults, spousal abuse and child abuse.
The maps are typically updated every 24 hours at about 9 a.m. daily, according to Tribune Web developer Danny Thorogood, who created the maps and has worked with the police departments on this project.
The incidents are mapped to individual streets, and will list homicides, sexual assaults, narcotics, assault, animal problems, traffic problems, burglaries, graffiti and other crimes.
We’re working with the city of Atascadero and hope to have its reports within a few weeks. Tribune Web producer Larissa Van Beurden-Doust also is continuing to work with the other police departments in the county to get them on board as well.
Police chiefs Solomon and Linden deserve a great deal of credit for making these public records available to the wider public. An informed citizenry can help police prevent crime and apprehend criminals.
_ Sandra Duerr

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