Eau Claire Police rolls out new crime mapping interface

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Kelly Thompson is looking at a lot of data.

Kelly Thompson, administrative division manager for Eau Claire Police, was behind the department's newest crime mapping interface - now online for the public to use.

As the administrative division manager for Eau Claire Police, she was behind the department's newest crime mapping interface - now online for the public to use.

Eau Claire Police has previously displayed a crime map on its website, but when the department needed to upgrade its internal software, they had a chance to now offer the public a more comprehensive look at what's happening around them.

"It started because of our new records management software that we implemented on May 1, 2017. As part of that implementation, we had to change our crime map," Thompson said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday.

The interface, through Lexis Nexis, is updated by Eau Claire Police each morning and shows most of the crimes taking place in the city.

"There are few crimes that are not shown here, such as death investigations and mental health ... and if there was no offense, that wouldn't show up either," Thompson said.

For the officers on the beat, the data from the crime mapping interface can show some important trends.

"Something starts on their days off. They come back from their days off and this really paints a nice picture of patterns of criminal activity and certain anomalies that are going on in their district," Lt. Tim Golden with the Eau Claire Police Department, said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday.

Lt. Golden said it’s a tool he didn't have when he joined the force a quarter-century ago.

“We had seven areas. Every officer, depending on their seniority, went usually to the same area every single day,” he said when he began his time with Eau Claire Police, “They got to know their area – kind of similar to the way it is now, but you really didn't see on paper or certainly on the computer printout what trends were going on. So, it's definitely changed 180 degrees.”

Thompson hopes the data opens the public's eyes to the world around them.

"I hope they just can see what their neighborhood is like and get whatever information that they're looking for. Everybody's looking at it for different reason," she said.

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