Today, the public is used to being able to look up just about anything on the Internet and that certainly includes “government” information. And publishing such information is good public relations for a government agency and also has the benefit of saving personnel time by reducing the number of requests for information they must handle.
Law enforcement agencies are no different in this regard. Citizen RIMS software lets you make selected crime data available to the public via the Internet. The idea is to make as much information as possible available in an easy to use, attractive web site while at the same time giving you complete control over what data is presented and how it is organized.
Unlike generic “crime mapping” products, Citizen RIMS is able to take full advantage of being a product developed by and fully integrated with other Sun Ridge Systems products. In fact, Citizen RIMS is designed to work only with RIMS. The significant benefits of this integration include more accurate data, respect for department security controls, a larger feature set, and more information for each function.
It is important to note that as part of the configuration parameters you decide which features you enable or disable.
1. Live incident mapping. This shows what’s going on right now, mapping currently active calls for service (and officer initiated activity if you so choose). Clicking on the map icon for an incident displays (limited) data available for the incident. This function also has a feature that lets the user “slide” a control on the screen to move through what was currently going on at any point in the past 24 hours. For example, news media or citizens can locate an incident that happened an hour or 10 hours earlier in the day. You control exactly what incidents are published --- you design and name the categories you want the map to show and set up the offense codes you want to associate with each category. For security purposes, it not only respects an incident’s Agency Confidential flag but the incident also has an “Include in Citizen RIMS Live Display” check box to allow/disallow mapping of particular incidents when needed. Also, when mapped an incident location is deliberately blurred to the nearest hundred block level.
2. Incident mapping. This is pin mapping for historical RIMS CAD data with the user picking the date span to be mapped. It is otherwise similar to the Live Incident Mapping function using the same mapping categories described above.
3. Crime mapping. This is the common crime pin mapping feature where the user picks a date frame and the crime types/categories to be mapped. For RIMS, crime data equates to your cases. You control exactly what crime data is published --- you design and name the categories you want the map to show and set up the offense codes you want to associate with each category. Citizen RIMS automatically eliminates all restricted access cases and agency confidential cases. Also, no case is published until it has been approved and locked. Clicking on a mapped case icon shows more info about the case.
4. Arrests. An arrest log displays arrests for the past 30 days. The log displays basic information, but rolling the cursor over a listed arrest shows personal data (allowed by statute) and the mug shot of the arrestee. A check box on the RIMS arrest page lets you block particular arrestees from being included in the log when needed.
5. Crime Charts. This function summarizes UCR crime data in easily understood charts, with year to year comparisons.
6. Stolen Vehicles. This lists recently stolen vehicles.
7. Most Wanted. This shows a subset of the Posters created in RIMS. An “Include in Citizen RIMS Live Display” check box on the poster screen must be checked for a record to be included.
8. Missing Persons. This shows a subset of the RIMS Missing Persons file with pictures where available. An “Include in Citizen RIMS Live Display” check box on the Missing Persons screen must be checked for a record to be included.
9. Alerts. This feature lets site visitors subscribe to a free service that emails new incident/crime data on a daily or weekly basis.
10. In Custody. For those with RIMS InCustody jail management software, a “Who’s in Jail” feature gives the public access to detailed information about all persons currently in custody.
11. Warrants. Those that want to display warrants from the RIMS database can enable a warrants tab. The information shown includes data similar to what’s shown on the RIMS warrant screen for the warrant and person.
How it works
The web page for Citizen RIMS resides at the CrimeGraphics.com web site that is used just for this purpose. The public reaches this site and your data via a link you provide on your web site (and otherwise publicize). This separate site for your public data also provides a security wall that precludes any possibility of opening access to the rest of your data.
RIMS itself on your system will have a small application that will periodically upload public-accessible data to CrimeGraphics.com. Only public information will be transferred to this site.
Once you perform initial configuration of what you want shown on your site there is no maintenance or any other effort required on your part to run Citizen RIMS ---- everything is automatic.