Burlingame’s crimes to be pinpointed online

A citywide virtual crime map will soon be at the fingertips of all Burlingame residents, who will be alerted when their neighbors are assaulted, robbed or vandalized.

The Burlingame Police Department will soon upload the city’s crime data to the Web site www.crimereports.com. The site is updated daily and works as a Google map for crime, showing pins marking where every police report in the city was made.

If a car is stolen on the 700 block of El Camino Real, for instance, a pin that reads “V” — for vehicle theft — will be placed at that address, showing the time and location of the incident. Residents can choose what type of crimes they want to show up on the map and specify a time frame.

There is also an alert system that sends residents an e-mail each time certain types of crimes are reported in specific neighborhoods.

The information should help residents prevent their neighborhoods from falling victim to crime trends, Burlingame police Cmdr. Mike Matteucci said. Residents can see when their neighbors have been burglarized, and make the extra effort to call police when they see suspicious activity, he said.

Nine California police agencies, including ones in Palo Alto and San Jose, currently upload crime information to the Web site. The Web site uses a software program that runs inside a police department’s network and pulls out relevant crime data.

Burlingame is the first city in the county to sign up for the Web site, but one other unnamed department on the Peninsula will likely do the same soon, crimereports.com CEO Greg Whisenanp said. The program costs $99 per month for cities with fewer than 50,000 residents and $199 monthly for larger municipalities.

The virtual crime map is not the only new piece of map-related technology Burlingame police are adding. They also are following Foster City’s lead by installing a new GPS-type system called the Automatic Vehicle Locator. The system allows dispatchers and officers to see exactly where each police car is in the field and determine which officer is closest to an emergency. The Foster City Police Department added the technology in 2006.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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