NYPD's Crime Map Doesn't Do City Justice, Councilman Says

By Colby Hamilton on December 9, 2013 3:52pm 

 An interactive map released by the NYPD for public access to basic statistics about crime citywide came online on Sunday, December 8, 2013.
An interactive map released by the NYPD for public access to basic statistics about crime citywide came online on Sunday, December 8, 2013.
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maps.nyc.gov/Google Maps

CIVIC CENTER — The city’s new online crime map — quietly rolled out over the weekend by the police department in response to a law passed by the city council earlier this year — is a good start, but falls short of the goal, according to the city councilman who pushed for its creation.

Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera said while he's happy the NYPD complied with the city council mandate voted into law in May, the lack of critical details, including the date and time of the incidents, left him disappointed.

“It's sub-standard to what you find in other states and in other cities, likes Chicago,” Cabrera said.

Still, he added, “this map is going to help people to have information and information is power for the community. Never in the City of New York have we had this level of transparency."

The councilman plans to reach out to city and police officials to resolve the issues with the site in the hopes of avoiding new legislation.

The law, mandating the creation of a crime map that displayed the monthly, yearly, and year-to-date totals of crimes across the city, passed in May.

The map which is searchable by address, zip code, and police precinct, plots crimes by location beginning in January 2012, specifying the crime committed, but providing no details.

The law that was passed took effect last month, but did not prescribe a timetable for completion. It also did not specify that the date and time of the incidents should be included.

Cabrera said the NYPD did not give the the City Council advance notice of when it was releasing the map, which was created with the help of the city's Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications.

“They didn't even inform me,” he said. “It was done in obscurity. It begs the question as to why they didn't let the council know."

The NYPD did not immediately comment.

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