SLO Police Department launches city crime map tool

mfountain@thetribunenews.comFebruary 4, 2014 

The San Luis Obispo Police Department has taken another step in enacting a program they hope will put officers in closer touch with residents of the neighborhoods they serve.

As part of the Neighborhood Officer Program, which the department officially started in early December, the city was divvied up into 13 distinct “neighborhoods,” each with specific patrol officers assigned to each district. The idea was that when a request for service is made to dispatch, residents will personally know the officer who will respond.

As part of the program, the city recently launched an interactive map that shows the distribution of seven types of criminal activity so that residents are kept aware of incidents in their community. The map will track where incidents of vandalism, assault, sexual assault, burglary, theft, noise violations and alcohol violations are reported.

According to San Luis Obispo police Capt. Chris Staley, the new website offers an avenue for residents who would not normally telephone the department to connect with officers who regularly patrol their neighborhood, as well as to see which incidents requiring police involvement occur near their homes.

“We’ve had some pretty positive feedback from the community so far,” Staley said Monday.

The map was made available around the time police were warning the community in early January about a suspected serial prowler in the neighborhood near the intersection of Broad and Sandercock streets. Staley said residents in the neighborhood were directed to the website for information about any possible incidents.

“With the crime mapping it’s really an awareness issue where we want people to know what’s going on,” Staley said. “Some people will be interested, some will not, but it’s something we wanted to put out there.”

The map, at least right now, does not have up-to-date information. The most recent incidents posted are from November. The map also features photographs and contact information for the officers assigned to different neighborhoods.

More timely information on crime can be found on the department’s police log, which is updated every weekday morning.

The log, officer contact information and the map can be found by visiting slocity.org/police.

Citizens are encouraged to contact their respective patrol officers with any nonemergency questions or suggestions regarding law enforcement efforts in their neighborhoods.

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