The Port Allen Police Department is using a digital map to help pinpoint areas of interest around the city that it suspects of harboring criminal activity, especially illegal drug use.
More than two dozen locations on the map are coded for: active suspected criminal activity and moderate suspected criminal activity.
The map helps the police department target its patrols, but it also shows the public why it patrols some areas more heavily, Chief Esdron Brown said.
“It’s going to help us track crimes on a monthly and yearly basis,” he said. “We can see how things move in response to our patrol activity.”
Brown added that the areas of interest on the map don’t mean that everyone in that area is a suspected criminal. “It just means we’re watching,” he said.
Brown’s department has taken some flak in the last year for patrolling too heavily west of the railroad tracks in the city of Port Allen’s historically black neighborhood. Brown has argued that these patrols are necessary to reduce crime in hot spots.
A major component to reducing crime in Port Allen is public involvement, Brown said.
He has encouraged residents to submit anonymous tips to the police describing locations, vehicles and individuals that they suspect of criminal activity in their neighborhoods.
Click below for high resolution map image