Computer Maps

Criminals can run, but they can't hide! A high tech computer mapping system is now up in running in the Valdosta Police Department's patrol cars. The system does more than just show an officer where a call for help is coming from.

When Valdosta police officers hit the road to respond to a call, they now have the latest technology to help get them there quickly. Their in-car computers are now equipped with a geographic information service, that gives more than just detailed maps of the Azalea City.

"This system allows officers to sit in the car, locate addresses without the use of radios and to exam what and where crimes have happened in the last 30 days," says Chris Strom, Program Manager.

On the map, the system highlights areas hit hardest by crime, everything from traffic accidents to burglaries can be found on this system.

SGT Earl Durrance with Traffic Enforcement says, "It’s a big help, when several officers have to respond to a scene they can all bring it up on a map, see where they are going and get the layout of the neighborhood. For example, if we were chasing a suspect in this neighborhood and he was running west, we would know to go along these three property lines so we could kind of round him up."

Right now the data is manually loaded into these computers, but in the future all the latest crime information will be available through the Valdosta-Lowndes County Digital Radio System, providing officers with the latest mapping and criminal trends while on the road.

The new mapping program was actually found free on the Internet, and all the data comes from Valdosta police officers, meaning the system cost very little to get going.