Monday, September 6, 2010

Starting Your Own Local Online Crime Blotter: Four Steps to Success

For all of those living outside of this neighborhood, and I know a lot of you do, here is a guest article from Alexis Bonari. This guest article discusses the four steps to success to making an online crime blotter for your neighborhood. Enjoy the article!
Starting Your Own Local Online Crime Blotter: Four Steps to Success

Do you have what it takes to be a community leader? Starting a local online crime blotter is essentially just that, becoming a community leader. Taking a stand against crime in your region or neighborhood takes perseverance and a little bit of know-how. Here are four steps to get you started:

1. Choose your region of influence.
While larger cities often have clearly delineated neighborhoods, choosing a region to cover isn’t as easily accomplished in smaller towns and suburbs. When choosing an area to cover, consider the amount of time and effort you will be able to put into updating your site. A larger area translates into a larger amount of time spent reporting crimes.

Also, it’s important to choose your region based upon a sense of community. In other words, your success depends upon people within the region identifying themselves as members of a group with a common cause. Choosing too large a region will compromise the community feel of your project. Choosing too small a region limits your ability to address larger social issues within the community.

2. Contact your local police department.
Police departments are usually happy to work with local organizations to prevent crime. Ask them to send you daily updates detailing local reported crimes. Help them in their efforts to track down those who are suspected of committing crimes in your area of influence and to find missing children. Create a working partnership.

3. Seek out local support.
Every neighborhood is home to individuals who care about the direction their community is taking. Seek out Neighborhood Watch leaders and make them aware of your online project. They can become a valuable source of information concerning reported crimes and ideas for informative posts.

4. Do your research.
Learn about privacy laws and how they effect your crime blotter. Naming suspects under the wrong circumstances can easily lead to slander chargers. Knowing what you can and cannot post on your crime blotter will potentially save you a severe legal headache.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident education blogger and performs research surrounding College Scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.


moulin67 said...

No relation to this post. But, I just read about a rave in wicker park that was busted by someone using CAPS TEXT2TIP program.

I never knew this program existed. Maybe you can get this information out to others, since the CPD hasn't done a great job with marketing this program.

AvondaleLoganSquareCrimeBlotter said...

Yeah, I definitely will, moulin. Thanks for suggesting I do! I think the TXT2TIP is a wonderful program, most of the time. I use it to report things that in my view shouldn't really be called into 911.