21st century look at crime in your neighborhood

Philadelphia residents can now get information about crime in their neighborhoods with the click of a button thanks to a new partnership announced between the Philadelphia Police Department and

The website allows people to search through six months of preliminary data of serious crimes for free using Google-based mapping and analytics. It is a convenient tool for people looking to move into a new neighborhood or research what’s going on around them.

“You just get a more holistic view of what’s happening. Our goal is to really create regional understanding and intelligence,” said Greg Whisenant, CEO of

The website also has an application that iPhone users can download for free. By taking part, Philadelphia joins more than 1,200 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. that partner with the site, although major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have yet to get involved.

Philadelphia police say the site helps citizens stay informed and promotes transparency. Officials stress, however, that the data is preliminary.

“It’s easy to use, timely, and gives residents and businesses direct access through the Department’s website to crime data in their neighborhoods,” Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said in a news release. “Helping our communities stay informed is a necessary part of our crime prevention strategy.”

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