Police to roll out online crime-mapping information

Residents of Biloxi will be more aware of activities in their neighborhood and throughout the city thanks to a new online crime-mapping program being unveiled today by the Biloxi Police Department.
Crime Mapping

The website, which is online now, will pinpoint crimes reported throughout the city, and will allow residents or business owners to be notified about crimes reported in their neighborhood.

“We think it’s the right thing to do,” Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said. “It’s nice for the public to be able to see what’s going on around them, but more than that, it’s a tool for them to use to help keep their neighborhoods and their city safe. Knowledge is power.”

The incidents plotted on the online map will be generated by calls to the city’s police dispatchers – either by the public or by police officers.

When an icon on the map is selected, the date, case number, location, and type of incident will be displayed. No specific locations will be used, only street blocks. Each item also will include a link to the Biloxi Police Department web page and the Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers anonymous web and text-to-tip websites.

The map will be updated every six hours and will have a 90-day archive of information.

“Users of this website will be able to sign up to receive alerts about incidents reported within 500 feet to two miles of their home or business,” Miller said. “This will be an invaluable tool in helping them protect their property.”

Some incidents – such as reports of domestic and sexual assaults, homicides and felony drug arrests – will not be included on crime mapping, to either protect the identities of victims or to avoid compromising an ongoing investigation.

“We’ll continue to release that information to the media, as we do now, when the investigation allows,” Miller said. “The bottom line is that we’re going to be giving the public much more information than we’ve ever provided, and it’s going to be in a very timely manner.

“We’re hoping that they use this information to help us reduce crime in our city.”

See for yourself

The video: To see a YouTube video about how the crime-mapping site works, click here.

The map: To see the crime-mapping site maintained by the Biloxi Police Department, click here.

The media release: To read the Biloxi Police Department’s media release about the new online crime mapping, click here.

News and notes

Development agenda: To see the Development Review Committee agenda for Wednesday morning, click here.

Council agenda: The Biloxi City Council meets this evening at 6 at City Hall. For a preview of the meeting, and to see the agenda and supporting documents, click here.