A new online crime mapping tool is available for Livingston County.

The “Public Crime Map Application” is being provided by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and just launched recently. The data is sourced from the Livingston County Report Management System, so it contains data from all law enforcement agencies in the county. The two exceptions are Michigan State Police and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Police, as they use separate reporting systems.

Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy says it’s helpful, not overly labor intensive, and just another resource for people to find out what’s going on around them - in some cases so they can stay vigilant and take extra care. He encourages the public to try it out as there are some pretty neat features, including the ability to search by an area or particular report or just see things like traffic crashes, property crimes or overdoses. For example, he says the Office and other police agencies get a lot of calls from people outside of the county looking to move into the area so they’ll inquire about crime in certain areas or neighborhoods.

Murphy says it’s a cool public education and research tool but also pretty user friendly and even those who aren’t very computer savvy should be able to figure it out. He suggests people take some time to play around with the maps and get used to it as searches can be narrowed down to isolate certain types of crimes or complaints. The map is preset so the majority of things automatically pop up but users can isolate items and search by offense date and type, as well as wide array of “quality of life” offenses. That section documents things like barking dogs, suspicious situations, trespassing or loud parties. Murphy says those things could be helpful for those looking to move in to a neighborhood, in that they might want to rethink things or turn it around as a bargaining chip to buy a home.

Murphy noted that all of the statistics provided are verified reports, not calls for services. He says there are a lot of things that go on that they don’t generate reports for or are unfounded so there’s no report but all of these are documented incidents. Murphy said they also wanted to make sure respect people’s privacy so users can’t drill down exactly where a certain crime occurred but he says it is detailed enough to give an idea. The new map has been in the works for a while but finally got up and running thanks to retired Detective Mark Klein, who Murphy says returned to work in crime analysis and is great with statistics. Murphy says it won’t be overly labor intensive now that it is up and running, as it will just be a matter of exporting data from the record management system and importing it into the new system. Maps are expected to be updated every 30 days. A link to the site is provided. (JM)