In June 2011, the Menlo Park Police Department launched CrimeReports.com, an online mapping and analysis service provided by Public Engines, Inc. The website combines police data with Google-based mapping and an analytics module so that the public can view police data in map or summary descriptive format.
The newest feature on CrimeReports.com is the anonymous reporting of crimes. By hovering over an incident, this feature allows people to submit an anonymous tip to the Menlo Park Police Department. There is no tracking, and each tip is encrypted to protect the source identity.
The public can access the crime map online 24 hours a day directly or through the Menlo Park Police Department website. The service also lets local residents sign up for free customizable email alerts, so they can stay on top of crime in their neighborhoods. The alerts are available daily, weekly, or monthly.
Stated a MPPD email: “We believe that information is a very powerful tool and hope providing the community this information will help prevent crime in your neighborhoods… Members of the community are encouraged to continue partnering and problem-solving with the Menlo Park Police Department while using CrimeReports.com data toward shared police-community goals.”