Los Angeles Times launches crime-tracking database

Students at USC are used to DPS crime reports sent out to notify them of recent crimes in the University Park area. Now, the Los Angeles Times is rolling out a new database with information and maps on all serious crimes recorded by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Information on crimes is public under California law and must be provided by law enforcement upon request. The Times’ program was created in an attempt to make this information more easily accessible to the general public.

The program allows users to search its database by address, analyze crime statistics, search for crime patterns and sign up to receive alerts when several crimes occur in a specified area over a short period of time.

Some experts warn that with such a large amount of data being made public, there is the potential for misinterpretation.