A new set of maps on the Lawrence Police Department’s website provide residents with a snapshot of vehicle accidents, service calls officers respond to and citations issued.
“The value to residents is that it’s much easier to get information, and we can get that information out quicker than it would be like going through the front office to get a report,” Public Affairs Sgt. Matt Sarna said. “The information is online sometimes within hours after it’s actually reported.”
Sarna said the maps are part of the department’s focus on transparency, a strategy Chief Tarik Khatib named as a major goal when he was hired in February. Earlier this year the department mapped all crimes reported in 2010 on its website, police.lawrenceks.org.
Here is more information about the new set of maps:
• Accident reports — The map shows the number of accidents that occurred in the city in the last two months, and it also tallies the number of accidents per block. The site also offers a link to each accident report if it’s complete.
As of Friday, 500 total accidents were reported across the city in the past two months.
The map shows a heavy concentration of accidents near downtown and along 23rd Street. As of Friday, eight accidents were reported, for example, at Ninth and Massachusetts streets, and nine were recorded at 23rd Street and Naismith Drive since late May.
• 48 hours of service calls — Police in recent months had already listed calls they were dispatched to in the previous two days, but now they’re shown in a map format as well.
Sarna said the map shows officers how the calls are spread throughout the city. Some of the most concentrated spots are near downtown or in areas that are more heavily populated, such as apartment complexes.
“Downtown, we do have more incidents because there are so many people on weekends and at all times moving around. It’s a more congested area,” he said.
• Municipal Court citations — Any traffic or other citations officers issued in the previous two weeks are listed on this map. A large percentage of tickets are traffic-related.