New crime map could help strengthen police-community relationship in Danville

Map designed to help citizens be more informed

DANVILLE, Va. – People WSLS spoke to say they feel the new Community Crime Map is a sign that the police department is trying to be more transparent and forthcoming with information and that makes them more willing to consider trusting and working with the department.

Lifelong Danville resident Joseph Evans said crime in the city has gotten out of hand -- so much so, that some people are afraid to go outside.

"People are scared to sit on their porch. It's sad," said Evans.

He believes the new crime map is a positive step by the police department to try to eliminate some of the fear residents have.

When you go to communitycrimemap.com, on the left hand side of the screen you'll see "Jump To City."

Click the drop down box and select Danville and little markers pop up on the map showing the time, date, location and incident report number for every crime in the past month.

You can also click on the "Analytics" tab and see an even more detailed representation of the crime in graph form.

"It makes me think that (the police are) thinking about, in other words, 'the hoods'," Evans said.

That perception could increase trust between police and citizens and that trust could lead to more communication and ultimately make residents feel safer.

Wyatt Electric owner Darrel Wyatt and his son, Matthew, said with the map providing lots of specific information, they feel safer about the business.

"It'd be nice to know where it's going on and what time of day, too. Yeah," Matthew Wyatt said. "It could be right here on top of us and we not know it."

 WSLS reached out to the police department Friday for information about the map.

But, while it is already online the department is working out a few final kinks before making any comments.

Martinsville, Bedford and Lynchburg also use the map.

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