The Camillus Police Department added a feature to its website in January to help residents find the answers they need efficiently. It's called crime and incident mapping.
"When I'm out in the public, the two questions I'm asked most are: What type of crime occurs in Camillus, and why were there Camillus police cars at a particular location in town," said Chief of Police Thomas Winn.
The new feature puts those answers online for people in the town and village of Camillus to access quicker than ever before.
The Camillus Police came up with the idea after a yearly goal developing meeting at the end of 2009.
"One goal was to increase our communication with the public, both outgoing and the ability to receive info from the public," Winn said. "We thought that it was critical to further our capabilities to do that."
The feature displays not just serious crimes, but other incidents relevant to the residents as well. This includes motor vehicle collisions, alcohol violations of local law and ordinance violations.
Winn says traffic to the police department website has increased since adding the page.
"A lot of people tell us they like it and they look at it often," Winn said.
The department just added a new feature to the crime and mapping page that displays pertinent information about Level 2 and 3 sex offenders.
"When people do call us asking for information about sex offenders, it does seem to put them at ease to find out what their crime was, what the offender looks like and where they live," Winn said.
The police department is working on linking the site's existing crime tip feature to the crime and incident mapping page to make the whole process more efficient and user-friendly.
The website as a whole is "customized to our residents, the things that we think they would like to see," Winn said.
To offer your input to the police department on what you would like to see on the website, visit camilluspolice.com and scroll down to "contact us" on the left, or e-mail the chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The crime and incident page can be found at crime.camilluspolice.com.