Archived Story

Niles Police Department to offer crime mapping, tip services

Published 11:10pm Monday, September 12, 2011

Niles citizens will soon have the option of anonymously submitting crime tips to the police department and locating incidents in their neighborhoods by utilizing an online service.
The Niles Police Department will have two services from Crime Reports of Draper, Utah up and running by the end of the year, newly appointed police chief James Millin said.
Benjamin Donner, a sales representative for Crime Reports, gave a presentation via internet Monday night at the city council meeting.
The Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police Department currently uses Crime Reports, an internet-based statistical crime reporting service for the public.
Citizens will be able to view a map on the NPD’s website and locate incidents from the past 30 days and as far back as six months. Crime information includes addresses down to the 100 block, case numbers, times, brief descriptions and departments presenting the information.
Also available will be an anonymous tipping tool. Citizens can click on an incident and submit a tip via text, smartphone application or online. The tip is sent to a server in Canada, which strips the submission of any identifying information and sends it to the police department. Canadian federal law prevents such information from being revealed, even under subpoena.
The police department will then be able to carry on a two-way conversation with the anonymous tipster.
The service will also include an agency page in which citizens can register to receive police department information when it is seeking, Millin explained that the Crime Reports service differs from the Nixle service — which local agencies like the Ontwa Township-Edwardsburg Police Department and Cass County Sheriff’s Department utilize — in that it is strictly regarding criminal activity; it does not include community events or other information.
With Crime Reports, tipsters will not receive rewards for information leading to arrests.
Millin added that one important aspect of the service is its ability to send citizens information about sex offenders moving into their neighborhoods, which also links to the state sex offenders database.
The council approved Monday a three-year subscription at $2,851 each for the crime reporting and tip information services. The money will come from drug forfeitures.
Millins said the NPD will evaluate the services over the three-year span.

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