Residents now have full view of police calls, arrests and crime happening in the city.
The Los Banos Police Department has unveiled Citizen RIMS, a free online tool that maps crime and police activity on a daily basis while also providing other services to city residents, such as vacation home checks, patrol requests and registration for security camera systems.
The tool, located at https://lbpd.crimegraphics.com/ and accessible through the department’s website, allows residents to search for police activity dating back to May 24, the day Citizen RIMS was launched as part of a complete overhaul of the police department’s crime reporting system.
Viewers also can look at where major crime has happened, a list of stolen vehicles, who the police department has arrested and a daily bulletin of police calls, which is updated every weekday.
Residents can sign up to receive alerts whenever crime happens in a desired radius around their home, or around any location in the city.
Police Chief Gary Brizzee said the new tool doesn’t just help the police department be more transparent with the public, it helps the department to identify trends.
“We can see where there may be a surge in vehicle thefts, burglaries and other crimes,” Brizzee said. “It increases efficiency because we can get much better data.”
$450,000 for efficiency
Citizen RIMS is part of a completely new system of reporting crime, Brizzee said.
The new system, budgeted and contracted out to El Dorado Hills-based Sun Ridge Systems for $450,000, digitizes officers’ incident reporting process.
Gone are the days that officers attach their audio recording with tape to incident reports.
“Before, it was all on paper,” Brizzee said. “(Officers) would dictate their narrative into a recorder, and someone else would transcribe it.”
But now, officers write their own narratives, which automatically gets propagated into the system.
Brizzee said there is a little resistance from officers, who now need to spend more time on computers at headquarters to type up incidents.
But Sun Ridge Systems may soon be providing an update that allows officers to complete their reports in their vehicles while on patrol.
Also, Brizzee said, data shows that officers tend to become more efficient with the system over time.
Residents can get a brief of an incident the next day on Citizen RIMS after its vetted by police staff for confidential information.
The system lead to a minor cost savings, Brizzee said. The previous reporting software was becoming outdated, and would have required more funds for maintenance.
But the main advantage of the new $450,000 system creates major efficiencies and frees up time across the department so more resources can be diverted to keeping citizens safe, Brizzee said.
Livingston uses Citizen RIMS, according to Sun Ridge Systems. Brizzee said the system is also garnering interest in other Central Valley cities.
The system will soon have the ability to “talk” with other law enforcement agencies, so sharing crime and incident information can be more effortless and efficient, Brizzee said.
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562