There may be only 53 officers at the Covington Police Department, but in the last year they answered around 40,000 calls, not all of which were crimes. In fact, according to Detective Daniel Seals, crime has gone down in the city since the implementation of their interactive crime map.
Just go to www.covingtonpolice.com and click on the "Crime Info" tab to the right and you'll see why that's possible. Just type in your address - or any address in the city - and wait. You'll soon be able to see just what officers are responding to, everything they are responding to, in your neighborhood and throughout the city.
"A couple of years ago we started doing what is called ‘intelligence-led policing,'" Seals said during a neighborhood watch meeting Tuesday evening. "Instead of driving around, doing patrols, answering calls - which is great - now what we're doing is taking these intelligence patterns which are built over years and using them to watch crime trends and send officers in the areas they are needed."
In 2010 crimes like murder, rape, robbery and burglary have dropped by 300, a decline that held in 2011. If the pattern continues in 2012, Seals believes the trend can be attributed in large part to intelligence policing.
In addition to the crime map assisting officers with watching trends, it also allows citizens to know what's going on around them. For instance, the Covington News office at 1166 Usher St. NW shows several different icons. When you click on each one you learn more about the crime. If it says "calls" it means it was just a call, but the officer found nothing. If it says "reports" it means a report was made.
You can search between three and 30 days and by specifying the incidents you want to search you can find specific crimes. If you're heading out shopping at local stores, especially during the holidays, you can search those addresses in the city as well to see if you need to watch out in the parking lot or ask a security guard for a walk to your car.
This map also allows you to create an email alert that will tell you as soon as something happens in a specific area, and you can send tips in directly from the map as well. Signing up is free and easy and will allow you to customize what you see and how much you know about what is happening in you neighborhood.
"We don't have to show you everything, a lot of places don't," said Seals. "But we're completely transparent because it's all a matter of public record."