When a call comes into the Glendora Police dispatch center, 15 minutes later the incident goes live on a continually updated online log on the city’s Web site.
The new online Live Calls For Service is part of the Glendora Police Department’s ongoing mission to take advantage of the community’s Internet savviness to reach a broader audience.
The concept is rooted in the belief that an accurately informed public creates a more involved and therefore safe community. Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro said he had played around with the concept since preparing for the police chief position.
“The community really wants to know what’s going on, and we’re always trying to find ways to keep them informed,” said Castro.
While a police and arrests log is available every morning at the police department, Castro said going online would create more accessibility to information on crimes in local neighborhoods; now residents can monitor their neighborhood’s safety with a click of a mouse.
While some may rebuff from sharing too much information, Castro said transparency is vital to the organization.
“We believe the more people know what’s going on, the more involved they want to become,” said Castro, pointing to the . Customers had seen the suspect rob the Kohl’s earlier in the day and had the quick thinking to take down the suspect’s car vehicle license plate number.
“If we [didn't receive] the tip from the community, we wouldn’t have been able to locate the suspect and put an end to these robberies, said Castro. “A lot of our success is because of people finding out what’s going on.”
With the Crime Map, which allows visitors to group all the major crimes committed near and around their address, and the Live Calls for Service, Castro said he’s trying to move the department progressively forward with today’s new technology.
The Live Calls page was developed in-house, using city technical staff to build the system. Castro said the next step is create a live arrests log, although that process is a little more complicated, requiring access to Los Angeles County Sheriff's system, said Castro.
Although the site launched quietly six weeks ago, residents are slowly tapping into site.
“People didn’t know we could be so forthcoming with the information we can give out,” said Community Services Officer Nita Ulloa. “They appreciated the information and that they could access the information anytime they needed to.”