August 12, 2013

Crime map empowers Dalton residents

The Daily Citizen

— You’ve probably noticed by now a new feature in The Daily Citizen.

Each day, usually on the weather page, we are running a map of crimes in the city of Dalton.

Provided by the Dalton Police Department, the map shows a running roundup of crimes committed on the previous seven days. The map shows crimes in 12 categories: aggravated assault, assault — other, burglary — commercial, burglary — residential, burglary from motor vehicle, drugs/narcotics violations, fraud, theft, theft — other, robbery— commercial, robbery — individual and vandalism.

The map allows citizens and local leaders to track crime and where it happens. It allows them to know what areas are the most at risk of particular crimes. Residents can then take steps to spot and possibly prevent crimes. They will also be more informed and able to question law enforcement and local officials about what they are doing to reduce and prevent crime in the city.

The maps could also, we hope, reduce the spread of false rumors about crime. If someone hears that a particular crime was committed somewhere in the city, they just have to check this map and see if anything like that was reported to the police.

We commend the city of Dalton and the Dalton Police Department for providing this information to residents. We urge Whitfield County officials and the leaders of the county’s other cities to look at ways that they can present such information to their citizens. Perhaps they could work with Dalton to expand this map countywide.

That would serve every resident of Whitfield County well.