Crime mapping tool shows crime trends, patterns in Blue Springs

Posted at 5:02 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 18:40:56-04

Since the Blue Springs Police Department rolled out new technology in December, they said they're able to pinpoint crime hotspots and catch criminals faster. 

Erica Edgington and her neighbors hope police will catch whoever has been breaking into their cars and stealing their stuff. 

"My wallet is gone now, and it's the third time that's happened to me in the past two months," Edgington said. 

Police said a thief burglarized several cars in the Sherwood subdivision last weekend. 

"We used to be okay with the neighborhood, but it's just like, who's really trustable?" Edgington said. 

Blue Springs police now have Sherwood on their radar thanks to a new crime mapping tool. 

"It has reduced my efforts from something that would take me over a week to do, down to 30 minutes," Crime Analyst Jennifer Dachenhausen said. 

She can now see crime trends and patterns at the click of a button. As each report is entered, the system generates hotspots around the city. Dachenhausen can identify new hotspots as they pop up, like in Sherwood. 

Police said even if someone doesn't file a report, officers can enter any information they have into the system, and it'll group similar incidents together. That way, they're in the right place at the right time to solve many of these crimes. 

Officer Jeremy Dickstein said it gives them information in a way they didn't have before. 

"This allows us to say, hey there's a pretty good chance a bad guy is going to be in Sherwood and you really need to concentrate there," Dickstein said. 

The crime map also helps when police don't have much evidence to work with, like with car break-ins. 

"It's been a godsend for the department because once you send something out, we are getting tenfold back from the intelligence," Dachenhausen said. 

Other police departments around Blue Springs like Lee's Summit, Independence, and Raytown recently got the same technology. They're able to work together to bust criminals in bigger crimes.