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Accessing CMPD Crime Information Not As Easy As It Used To Be

Police departments across the state are currently at odds as to the best way to quickly and accurately inform the public about daily events, reports the Charlotte Observer. Charlotte residents used to be able to access an online log called the "Significant Event Log," It was created in 2007 and covered the bigger police events - rapes, robberies, and homicides - as well as large traffic accidents or local school problems. In 2009, CMPD suddenly took down the site and received complaints from local bloggers, reporters, and concerned citizens that depended on the blog for up to date crime information. CMPD does release crime and offense information. Every morning they print stacks of police reports and places them in an area accessible to the public. But when asked why the department took down the well-frequented site, CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano told the Observer accuracy was a concern. "The log was based essentially on real-time reporting, which meant that none of the information was vetted for accuracy or edited as the information changed over time," he said. "Follow-up investigations of a reported crime oftentimes results in the circumstances of a reported incident changing considerably." City councilman Patrick Cannon, who also chairs the city's community safety committee, said that the department received criticism from angry residents after the site published an erroneous report. "I believe in honesty, integrity and being forthcoming with the public, whether it's good on you or bad on you," said Kelly O'Neill, author of the city's Crime in Charlotte Blog. O'Neill often linked to the website it her posts. "Why is a department that's funded by our tax dollars not expected to do that?"