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IMPD Launches New Online Service To Track And Report Crimes

A man in police uniform stands at a podium in front of a large screen giving a presentation

Kevin Wethington, IMPD's public communications safety chief, gave a demo of the website to reporters on Wednesday. (Drew Daudelin, WFYI)

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is partnering with an online service that allows citizens to track and report crimes.

CrimeReports.com features an interactive crime map, search functionality and the ability to provide police with anonymous tips.

IMPD officials often say a lack of trust from community members has created some environments where witnesses refuse to talk with police, a major obstacle towards solving, and sometimes preventing, crime.

Mayor Joe Hogsett says he's hopeful the new online tool will help.

"You have different points of light coming together to keep our neighborhoods in our community safer," Hogsett said at a Wednesday press conference with IMPD officials, "increasing the neighborhood awareness of what law enforcement is doing, helping them communicate with one another."

Toby Miller, director of The Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network, says he's confident the tool will foster better relations between police and members of the community.

“Most importantly, an empowered community that is challenged and charged with looking at ways that we can improve public safety in our neighborhoods," Miller says.

CrimeReports.com also allows citizens to register personal security cameras, which links them with IMPD investigators.

This does not give police access to the cameras at any time, but IMPD says it allows them to quickly find, and request access to, privately-owned cameras that might have captured evidence of a crime.

IMPD Public Communications Safety Chief Kevin Wethington says the camera registration system is a game changer for detectives.

"The old way of doing it is doing neighborhood canvases, walking and knocking on doors, and oftentimes literally walking around looking at houses and businesses, looking for cameras," Wethington says.

Wethington says IMPD is in the process of starting another camera-related program, one which would allow willing citizens to give police direct access to their security cameras through a program run by Motorola.

CrimeReports.com replaces SafeTown.org, which the city called "antiquated" in its press release, as the city’s online public safety tool.

Police in Hamilton County partnered with the same service last year.

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