MISSION CRITICAL SYSTEMS
Sun Ridge Systems’ Citizen RIMS
By: Jennifer Gavigan
Today, the public is used to being able to look up just about anything on the Internet and that certainly includes “government” information. And publishing such information is good public relations for a government agency and also has the benefit of saving personnel time by reducing the number of requests for information they must handle.
Law enforcement agencies are no different in this regard and Citizen RIMS software allows law enforcement agencies to make selected crime data available to the public via the Internet.
Specifically, the idea is to make as much information as possible available in an easy-to-use, attractive website while at the same time giving the agency complete control over what data is presented and how it is organized. Unlike generic “crime mapping” products, Citizen RIMS is able to take full advantage of being a product developed by and fully integrated with other Sun Ridge Systems’ products. In fact, Citizen RIMS is designed to work only with RIMS. The significant benefits of this integration include more accurate data, respect for department security controls, a larger feature set, and more information for each function.
Following are the current and planned product features. It is important to note that as part of the configuration parameters, departments decide which features they enable or disable.
1. Crime mapping. This is the common crime pin mapping feature where the user picks a date frame and the crime types/categories to be mapped. For RIMS, crime data equates to the user’s cases. The user controls exactly what crime data is published—he/she designs and names the categories he/she wants the map to show and sets up the offense codes to associate with each category. Citizen RIMS automatically eliminates all restricted access cases and agency confidential cases. Also, no case is published until it has been approved and locked.
2. Incident mapping. This is pin mapping for historical RIMS CAD data. It is otherwise similar to the Crime Mapping function with the user controlling what the categories are and what incident types are included in each category. Again, the incident’s Agency Confidential flag is respected in determining its inclusion in the map.
3. Live incident mapping. A user option for incident mapping will let them show what’s going on right now. Clicking on the map icon for the incident will display (limited) data available for the incident. (This is true for the historic incident display too.) This function also has a PO Box 5071 El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 1-800-474-2565 feature that lets the user “slide” a control on the screen to move through what was currently going on at any point in the past 24 hours. For example, news media or citizens can locate an incident that happened an hour or 10 hours earlier in the day. For security purposes, it not only respects the Agency Confidential flag, but the incident now also has a “Include in Citizen RIMS Live Display” check box to allow/disallow mapping of particular incidents when needed.
4. Arrests. An arrest log will let the user display arrests for the past 24 hours or any desired date span. The log will display basic information, but each arrest will have a link to a page that shows detailed arrest info plus personal data (allowed by statute) and the mug shot. A new check box on the RIMS arrest page will let users block particular arrestees from being included in the log when needed.
5. Crime Stats. This function shows summarized crime statistics in tables and graphically in an easily understood layout, with year-to-year comparisons possible. Again, each department will determine what crimes are included.
6. Alerts. This feature will allow site visitors to subscribe to a free service that will e-mail new incident/crime data on a daily or weekly basis.
7. In Custody. For those with RIMS InCustody jail management software, a “Who’s in Jail” feature will give the public access to detailed information about all persons currently in custody.
How it Works
The web page for Citizen RIMS will be kept at the new CrimeGraphics.com website we have created for this purpose. The public will reach this site and an agency’s data via a link the agency provides on its website (and otherwise publicize).
RIMS itself on your system will have a small application that will periodically upload publicaccessible data to CrimeGraphics.com. Only public information will be transferred to this site.
Once departments perform initial configuration of what they want shown on their site, there is no maintenance or any other effort required on their part to run Citizen RIMS—everything is automatic.
Citizen RIMS can include active and historical Calls for Service, Crimes, Media Bulletin, Most Wanted, Missing Persons, Stolen Vehicles, Warrants, Arrests, Inmates, Crime Stats, and Twitter Integration.
Citizen RIMS offers considerably more information to share with the community at the discretion of the police department and is tightly integrated with Sun Ridge Systems’ group of products.
During the implementation, a police department chooses what information is appropriate to share with their community. Examples include the types of crimes to show, how to group the crimes on the map, and determining if arrests will be shown with photos. Many options are included, giving the police department control of what is shared on the Internet.
Once Citizen RIMS is configured with the police department’s options, additional staff time is not required to update the website—it is automatic.
The public website has no direct access to a police department’s data. Based on the police department’s choices, the data the department chooses to make public is sent to the public website. The public website can be accessed at crimegraphics.com. Links are provided to individual department websites.