Schenectady County

Map of crime areas just one click away

City officials on Thursday unveiled the city’s new tip line and Internet crime mapping system, which
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City officials on Thursday unveiled the city’s new tip line and Internet crime mapping system, which will allow city residents access to crime statistics in each neighborhood via the city’s Web site.

“It will help officers and neighborhood groups understand crime trends in the city,” said Police Chief James Tuffey.

The “interactive crime mapping” will provides Albany citizens access to weekly crime statistics from neighborhood to neighborhood — information that now is available only to police.

Statistics will be broken down for neighborhood associations on a weekly basis so residents can look at crimes in the proximity of their own homes and neighborhoods.

The system tracks six crimes: murder, rape, robbery, larceny, aggravated assault and burglary. It will not provide an exact address of where a crime occurs, but symbols would indicate crimes in each neighborhood.

The new system will be up and running at noon on Wednesday.

Tuffey and Mayor Jerry Jennings, who held a news conference Thursday at the Public Safety Building, said Albany and Syracuse are the only cities in the state with access to crime mapping for residents.

An important part of the system is an e-mail tip line for anyone who wants to report crime or suspicious activity. The system is anonymous, which officials hope will encourage residents to report wrongdoing.

Tuffey said the Police Department has used crime mapping internally for two years to analyze crime so resources can be used most efficiently to fight crime.

Jennings said it allows residents a way to access what’s going on in each neighborhood so each person can become more vigilant and work with police to reduce crime.

Many high-profile crimes are publicized by police and covered by the media. The new Internet crime mapping system offers residents a compilation of all crimes including burglaries, which wouldn’t necessarily be reported on television or via the news media. “Now you can get information about what is happening in your neighborhood. You will be more aware of what’s going on,” said Detective James Miller, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

Meanwhile, the e-mail tip line will let city residents provide tips on a 24-hour basis.

Tuffey said information received on the tip line will be taken at face value, and he said it could be a key in solving crime.

The mapping system can be accessed by going to the city’s Web site at www.albanyny.gov and clicking on “police” on the quick links menu. Click on crime mapping and follow the instruction on how to access a certain neighborhood.

Once the map and the associated neighborhood are up on the screen, a key at the bottom of the map will identify different crime categories and keys that symbolize them. The key will be placed in proximity to where the actual crime occurred on the map.

Initially, a week-by-week map will be made available. As the system progresses, a rolling monthly map broken into weeks will be made available.

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