Crime • Police chief says citizens expect transparency.
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It's the job of police to keep an eye on the public, but now the public can see how Salt Lake City police do that job.
The city's police department launched a new website Thursday that displays the calls to which officers responded, once the calls are completed. In addition to seeing the calls as they're wrapped up in real time, citizens can sort calls by type, time, location, case number and whether a report was filed.
The public expects such transparency, said Chief Chris Burbank in a statement. However, he cautioned that the call data is preliminary, subject to change and does not necessarily mean a crime occurred: In fact, only about 27 percent of the calls that the SLCPD responds to on a given day result in a police report.
"This is not intended to be overwhelming, or even appear that crime is out of control in fact it's just the opposite," Burbank said in a video announcing the website, which is located at http://dotnet.slcgov.com/Police/CADCallsForService.
"This is designed to allow the public access into the police department and have an idea of the volume of calls coming into the police department," he said.
He encouraged residents to ask the department's community intelligence officers liaisons between the city council and council districts about the calls to better understand them.
Calls displayed on the website only go back two days. Though calls disappear from the site after 48 hours, they're still being recorded and made available in an online archive at https://data.slcgov.com.
The SLCPD website is similar to one operated by the Valley Emergency Communications Center the dispatch center that covers much of the rest of Salt Lake County although that site is only accessible to news media.