This is very cool. A website called CrimeReports.com combines Google Maps and crime statistics to show details about every car break-in and shooting in your city.
Well, only if you live in Pembroke Pines. So far, Pines is the only city in Florida being tracked on CrimeReports.
The PPines Police Department, like about 40 others across the country, pays CrimeReports between $100 and $200 a month to extract their latest crime data and load it onto the site, according to this AP article.
I've just been playing around on it a few minutes, and it's pretty awesome and user-friendly. Kinda has a similar feel to Zillow.com, 'cept it deals in murder and mayhem, not property values and taxes.
The details -- clicking on a crime opens up a bubble on the map showing exact what happened and where -- are impressive, and you can even e-mail specific incidents to a friend.
I put a call in to a Pines police spokesman to find out more about why the department signed up for this site. Here's hoping other South Florida departments do the same.
Update: Pembroke Pines Maj. David Golt called back to say his department is experimenting with CrimeReports on a trial basis. "We wanted to see if it makes it easier for residents and other people in the community to have access to what's going on," he said.
Update 2: A publicist for CrimeReports.com helpfully pointed out that there is a quick form where you can send an invitation to your local police chief or sheriff telling them about the site.
*Thanks to Al's Morning Meeting at the Poynter Institute for the tip.