Q&A With DailyCrimeReport.com

DailyCrimeReport.com is a new site that publishes crime reports fresh for the Dallas Police database. It is a subscription service that allows concerned citizens to monitor crime in their neighborhood. To learn more I sent some questions to Avi Adelman.

1. Background-Resume
I have been a graphic designer – print and website – for about 20 years, mostly corporate materials but now focused on small and medium business projects.My original degree is in public relations and journalism.

I have been living on or near Lower Greenville for about 30 years – give or take a few a little further away – since moving Dallas (born in Philadelphia with a detour to Israel for three years). I was always active in civic affairs, even as a kid. Crimewatch is just a natural attitude for me.

My experience dealing with the problems we have on Lower Greenville – illegal business operations, code enforcement (or lack thereof) and personal safety issues – made me realize that the Internet could be an extremely useful tool to getting things fixed, and hence was born BarkingDogs.org ( www.barkingdogs.org).

2. Tell us about your site-
The theme of the site is – What happened in YOUR neighborhood yesterday?Daily Crime Report was created as a result of my work on our neighborhood association website, Belmont NA ( www.belmontna.org).For years I posted monthly and annual summaries of incident reports – crimes like home burglaries, burglary of motor vehicles, assaults – for our neighborhood.But getting the stats once a month is too late if three houses on your street have already been burglarized. You need to know what’s going on yesterday, not last month.So after hemming and hawing for about three years, talking to showy investors who never came through, I figured out how to take the Dallas Police Department’s public data files and convert them to something I could separate and post by beat numbers (in essence the area around your neighborhood).

3. Why Dallas?
After talking to Police Departments all over Texas, I have found the DPD is light-years ahead of most departments in making their incident reports available online. Some departments are trying to get their, and a few are just not going to ever go there (don’t wanna embarass their rich citizens). They are the only department I can find that puts up the daily reports every single day, not a week later. With all the details about the event, not a slimmed down version (the spreadsheet goes from A to AT in Excel).Many of the larger departments are using the Dallas website ( www.dallaspolice.net) as a model for their departments future public access
4. What have you learned about Dallas from monitoring crime stats?
There are about 1,000 incidents reported every day in Dallas. Most of them are simple issues (unless you are the victim) – robbery, assault, burglary, car theft. Then you get the weird stuff like ‘assault with a chicken leg’ and you wonder, Who told them to call 9-1-1??Other neighborhood reps tell me they had no idea how many incidents take place that they never hear about until way later. Another neighbor told me she visited three homes that were recently burglarized not far from her house, just to make sure she was not making any of the same mistakes they did.

5. Any particular safe/unsafe areas?
I don’t pore over the data with a finetooth comb, so I can’t speak to that issue in general by neighborhoodsIn my neighborhood, so close to Lower Greenville, we knew in our bones how the presence of 7,000 people from outside the area (or even Dallas) coming down here every weekend made it extremely unsafe for them and the residents. But seeing the jump in personal crimes every weekend was the biggest eye opener, which makes it easier to promote Resident Parking Only programs ( www.residentparkingonly.com) programs to my neighbors.

6. Who is a typical subscriber/client?
If you believe the demographics filled out by our subscribers, they are 41-50, own their home, have an income level over $95,000, and are usually members of neighborhood associations. They already care about their community and have told me how much they appreciate this unique service. They take the PDF files to neighorhood meetings and grill the police over what is or is not being done to make their neighborhood safer.

7. Anything else?
I am having a blast doing this. I finally found a gig that allows me to make a (few) bucks doing something that satisfies my civic streak. We are in discussions with other cities to add more data, and a national security products coming has contacted us about partnering with them, first in Dallas than nationally.Not bad for a site that is only 60 days old.


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