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Crime mapping provides a snapshot of crimes in City of Northville
CLEMIS is a report management system that compiles crime reports from police departments in Oakland County, including Northville, and makes them available to the public. Oakland County takes that information one step further by allowing police departments to directly subscribe to a service from crimemapping.com that populates the crime data on a map.
“The new system allows the public to be aware of crime, whether it’s a single incident, a rash of crime or a trend in crime,” said Michael Carlson, police chief of the City of Northville. “This summer, there has been multiple incidents of theft from unlocked cars north of 8 Mile, between Taft and Novi roads. Those have been reported on the crime map.”
The website is user-friendly with icons that show the location of the crime, type of crime and a case number. Icons represent robberies, assaults, break-ins, and drug possession among other crimes. While it doesn’t show vehicle accidents per se, it does indicate accidents when a drunk driver was involved. The map is national in scope and shows Northville as well as surrounding communities. Viewers can use the zoom function to see various views of the area they are interested in.
“This new reporting system enhances the transparency of the police department,” said Carlson. “We were previously mapping crimes on our own using Google maps and color-coded pins to represent various crimes, but it wasn’t as timely and cost-effective as this system is.”
Users have the option of looking at the online map in real time or searching back 180 days. People can also add their name to a City of Northville e-mail list to receive police alerts by signing up here: Northville City Police Department Community Alert & Response Email System (NCPDCARES). To receive text alerts to a mobile phone, sign up at Nixle.com. People can also follow the police department on Twitter. Users of the crimemapping.com site can specify which details they want to receive in crime alerts: streets or a section of the City and types of crimes.
Shawn Riley, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Weir Manual and chair of the DDA board, says the crime mapping system will come in handy for people who want to be well informed. “I’ve been in the real estate business for over 20 years and the question of crime does come up,” he said. “A lot of buyers are doing their homework up front on the Internet. It’s a great tool for me to be able to point someone to a resource if crime is a concern.”
The City of Northville is fortunate to have a low crime rate. In 2014, per the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program, there was an annual rate of three violent crimes* and 66 property crimes* for the City’s approximately 6,000 residents. ValuePenguin, a personal finance research and analysis firm, ranked Northville as being one of the safest cities in the state among populations of 10,000 and under, based on FBI statistics and weighing violent crimes at 90% and property crimes at 10%.
“Often, prevention can reduce the incidence of crimes,” said Carlson. “In the case of thefts from vehicles, people should lock their doors and park in well-lit areas. If you must keep valuables, such as cameras, cell phones and purses in your vehicle, keep them in the trunk or hidden from view.
*Violent crimes that occurred in 2014 were for aggravated assault. (Murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, and robbery are also violent crimes, but they did not occur in Northville in 2014.) Property crimes are burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.