Meet CrimeMapping.com, the website that BART police are now utilizing to upload the transit agency's crime data.
"It works by, uh, people loggin' on to the internet," explained BART Police Deputy Chief Ed Alvarez to KRON 4.
After one has dialed up to the information superhighway, exploring CrimeMapping is just like any other crime tracking website. You just scan a map of the area you're in, or curious about, and click on the various pop-up clip art bits of each crime at the location of occurrence. For example, the little bubble with the "Hamburglar" icon means a robbery was reported. The martini glass/pill icon represents a drug or alcohol-related crime. Those of us obsessed with locating every registered sex offender in our neighborhood are all too familiar with this technology.
"This new effort reflects my department's commitment to transparency and community oriented policing," said brand new BART police Chief Carlos Rojas according to the East Bay Times.
A new and easy way to access crime data for the BART system. More on the new transparency initiative: https://t.co/wRXkOKtCTZ— SFBART (@SFBART) June 7, 2017
What makes CrimeMapping news is that BART Police have recently added themselves to the list of agencies actively uploading crimes to the site. The San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley, Hayward and Richmond police departments already add their incidents to the free site. One can search crimes using a number of filters, including reports by agency. Now that BART's on board, we can see everything that BART Police have been up to. For those of us true crime nerds and amateur sleuths, CrimeMapping is definitely an engrossing time-suck.
"This gives you the information at your fingertips. There is no reason not to know what is going on. The information is out there, it updates daily, gives you parameters to search on a daily basis or a monthly basis, to give you a good snapshot of the area you are traveling to and from or where you live. So we are definitely excited about it, putting that information out there, letting our customers know that everything we will know, you will know as well," Alvarez told KRON.
Explains CrimeMapping, which operates throughout the country, "Crime data is extracted on a regular basis from each department's records system so that the information being viewed through a Web browser is the most current available. This data is always verified for accuracy and all address information is generalized by block in order to help ensure privacy is protected."
Technology and BART have not always been the best of friends. The transit agency is currently embroiled in a lawsuit filed by a woman who used the BART Watch app, a smartphone app that lets users alert BART police to incidents in real time. The app also collects data about the user, including their location. Cue: lawsuit.
Crimes stay on the site for 180 days. You can start searching you own neighborhood, ex-boyfriend's house, or favorite BART station right here.