August 03, 2009
Case Study: CrimeReports.com Benefits Neighborhood Watch
“It’s reduced crime in certain areas because citizens are much more vigilant and more aware."
– Maria Mitchell
Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Maria Mitchell, the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for the Lake Havasu City Police Department, has a motto she takes to all her neighborhood watch groups: “An informed community is a safe community.” It has been her experience that when citizens are more informed about the type of crime occurring in their neighborhood, they are more vigilant and cautious. That’s why she decided to keep the public informed by funding CrimeReports.com through the neighborhood watch budget.
Originally, the neighborhood watch program was funding an automated email alert system for the community. But when she looked into the solutions that CrimeReports offered, she jumped at the chance to make it a part of the Lake Havasu City neighborhood watch. And because of CrimeReports’ affordability, it was well within the neighborhood watch budget. Members of the neighborhood watch already pay a $2 yearly fee that pays for signs and funds newsletters, workshops, and a yearly barbeque. Now that fee also pays for CrimeReports.
Mitchell likes the way that a community like hers can benefit from a web-based solution. For example, because Lake Havasu City is home to many vacation and rental properties, owners who live out of state can stay informed about their properties year round, both through free email alerts and the interactive map. And besides keeping track of their own homes, year-round residents can monitor the neighborhood of elderly family members as well. “Provided you can retrieve your email, you know what’s going on in your neighborhood,” says Mitchell.
Mitchell also finds that CrimeReports is extremely helpful in her job as a neighborhood watch coordinator. “I use it every day,” she says. When she is preparing for a neighborhood watch meeting, she looks up the crime in that neighborhood and is ready for the questions she’ll encounter at the meeting. She has also found that the crime mapping gives her a good picture of areas that need a neighborhood watch. On more than one occasion, Mitchell has seen neighborhood watch groups go inactive and crime has risen in the area. Because she can track the crime on a map, she is able to go back into those areas and restart a neighborhood watch group. As a result, she says “it’s reduced crime in certain areas because citizens are much more vigilant and more aware.”
In addition to the benefits to her job, Mitchell says the real benefit is keeping the community informed. And the overwhelming response from the community has been positive. “They use it. They love it,” she says.
Serving more than 500 law enforcement agencies across North America, CrimeReports.com is the largest online resource for accurate, up-to-date crime information. CrimeReports offers a family of affordable, easy-to-use software tools for law enforcement agencies to understand crime trends and share up-to-date neighborhood crime data with the public. Community members can access the information for free at www.CrimeReports.com, empowering them to make informed decisions to help improve the safety of their neighborhood and community.
CrimeReports services are offered by Public Engines, Inc. For more information, visit www.CrimeReports.com.