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Online mapping services help cops spot crime trends


By Donna Leinwand
USA Today

A growing number of police departments -- nearly 1,000 nationwide -- are using online crime mapping services to grab data from their police reports, identify crime trends and then push the information to the public through online maps and e-mail alerts.

"The more people understand what's going on in a neighborhood, the more they can respond to it," says East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis, who began using one such mapping program, CrimeReports.com, about six months ago.

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