Lower Allen Township is -so far– the only Midstate municipality utilizing new technology that allows residents to view area crimes on a map in real time.
“It’s been a goal of ours to get our crime data out there to the public so they know what is going on in their neighborhoods,” said Lower Allen Police Chief Frank Williamson.
It’s a simple concept. Residents go to crimemapping.com, click on ‘Pennsylvania’, find Lower Allen Township on a scroll-down bar and up pops a colorful display of mostly low-grade crimes.
“It’s the vehicle entries, the vandalism, it’s thefts of lawn ornaments especially during this time of year they are increasing in number,” Williamson said.
On the online map those crimes are paired with nifty icons. A spray can for vandalism crimes, and an exclamation mart for disturbing the peace, and so on.
Alison Weymouth was intrigued when we showed her the map, especially after she saw a fist icon – marking a recent assault on her block.
“I like knowing how prepared I need to be,” she said.
Before we left, Alison had downloaded the App and signed up for alerts.
The technology cost the department around $1,500.