The City of Boulder has created a new, digital crime blotter to share information with the community in nearly real time.
The updated crime blotter was a joint project created by the City of Boulder’s Innovation Technology and Boulder Police departments. It also takes the information one step further by sharing each incident via the new BPD Blotter Twitter account after the reports have been reviewed and approved by a supervisor. This program will ensure the public receives timely information on crime in their neighborhoods while protecting victim privacy with measures put in place to redact sensitive information.
This innovative project is in addition to the new crime dashboard and calls for service portals created last year to share more information with community members. The blotter differs from the crime dashboard in that it provides a narrative about each event and only includes reports with a crime. That means one blotter incident can have multiple offenses. For example, a robbery can also be a trespass. In the offense dashboard, both offenses would show as separate records.
“I’m incredibly proud of this additional layer of transparency we’ve created to share more information with our community. It’s right in line with the goals outlined in our new Master Plan,” Chief Maris Herold said. “This new digital crime blotter was a direct result of our community members telling us they missed the old crime blotter and wanted more information about public safety incidents in their neighborhoods.”
Chief Innovation and Technology Officer Jennifer Douglas concurred.
“Enhancing public safety and increasing government transparency are cornerstones of our efforts to further the city’s mission of service excellence for an inspired future through technology,” she said.
Previously, a Boulder Police civilian staff member would read each shift’s reports, research incidents, and type up the information for the blotter, which often took hours to compile depending on the day, reports, and other assigned tasks.
The new crime blotter is streamlined and updated automatically in both the Blotter Dashboard and the new Twitter account depending on when they are reported and reviewed. If a community member wants more information, they can request reports from BPD Records online at https://bouldercolorado.gov/services/request-crime-reports-or-records
Though other large agencies in the country have created crime-specific Twitter accounts, Boulder Police is the first agency to do so in Colorado. Unlike the primary Boulder Police Twitter account—www.Twitter.com/BoulderPolice—the Blotter Twitter account will not be monitored for questions.
You can follow the blotter at https://twitter.com/BPDBlotter
The new BPD Blotter can be found on our Crime Dashboard page at https://bouldercolorado.gov/crime-dashboard and it looks like the below. You can also see an image of the blotter Twitter account here as well: