New crime-tracking system launches in PA

Maps let residents find out about neighborhood crimes within a day

A new online site launched today that allows Palo Alto residents to track crime in their neighborhoods.

The free system, , will send alerts via e-mail when a crime has occurred within the past 24 hours, according to the company, Public Engine.

Users of the site can also view a map identifying the locations of crimes, presented through a Google Maps interface.

Crime information is uploaded at 6 a.m. daily, according to Palo Alto police Sgt. Sandra Brown.

The Palo Alto Police Department will pay $100 to $200 per month for the service, Brown said.

The system will cut down on calls the police receive asking for crime information, she said. It will also be useful for people moving to the area and looking for crime statistics. And it will help the department's crime analyst retrieve information about crime trends more quickly and easily, Brown said.

Other Bay Area police departments -- San Jose, Los Gatos, Gilroy and Fremont -- are also participating. Palo Alto decided to sign up after seeing results from a preliminary launch with the San Jose Police Department in September 2007, Brown said.

The site lists residential and commercial burglaries, thefts, auto burglaries and thefts from autos, rapes, homicides, assaults and robberies and other crimes.

Users enter their address, or any other address within the city, click on their state on a map, select the police department or agency from a pull-down menu and click to retrieve the map. Information can be obtained for three, seven, 14 and 30 days and can be sorted by crime.

Clicking on an icon provides information about the time, block and type of crime. Locations where multiple crimes have occurred also are shown.

To view the crime maps, go to


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 13, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Why didn't Palo Alto decide to pay $10k or $100k per month for the service?

Don't forget, they paid $500,000.00 for a website. Hello!?!?!?!?

Posted by James, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 13, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Why didn't PA decide to pay that amount Joanna? Why then you would have actually been justified in making a sarcastic statement. Remember, if all you spew is negative, people just stop listening.

Posted by Hmmm..., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Having seen one too many mini crime waves associated with construction work in different neighborhoods (not unique to Palo Alto), I wish workers had to register in a system that was easy to compare to the above...

Posted by Joanna, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 14, 2008 at 8:31 am


I am publicizing facts that are being suppressed. We don't read too many stories about public spending largess.

Anyway, spew yourself, and let others hear about what was done with their money.

Posted by James, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Joanna. And also realize and acknowledge how fortunate we are to live in such a fine city. Not a sign of suppression, just fairness, balance, and gratitude. Try it sometime. It might look better on you.

Posted by captain kid, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2008 at 6:49 pm

sounds like a lovers quarrel to me you guys-

perhpas you oughta get a room at the glass slipper tonight

and really work it out!

Posted by uhhhh, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 14, 2008 at 11:41 pm

the glass slipper is closed. hopefully for awhile. why don't some of y'all start squeeking about all those crackho motels along el camino? It appears there's some worry about property values in this town.

track that!

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