Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Interactive Web map helps Pinellas County residents track crime

LARGO — Chief Deputy Robert Gualtieri has a message for neighborhood crime watchers, real estate agents and concerned citizens constantly calling the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for updated local crime statistics: Now you can do it yourself.

The Sheriff's Office and the county's Business Technology Services unveiled a new website Monday that uses Google Maps technology to help county residents track crime in their neighborhood. The website,, allows users to view an interactive map of reported crimes in their neighborhood and filter the results by date, location or type of crime.

"It'll be very beneficial to citizens who are interested on a current, need-to-know basis," Gualtieri said. "It will tell them what's happening in their back yards."

Nine local police departments are collaborating with the Sheriff's Office to create a comprehensive map that stretches from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. All the departments are expected to update the Crime Viewer's database daily.

The interface should be easy to use for anyone familiar with searching for locations on Google. The map can be zoomed in or out, dragged, nudged or magnified.

After entering an address or ZIP code, dozens of iridescent icons appear, each indicating an occurrence of crime in the past year. Fuchsia pentagons are aggravated battery. A salmon-colored diamond represents a reported burglary in a vehicle.

The site was designed to be intuitive, said Nancy Sherman of Business Technology Services, but there's also a 21-page manual for anyone who needs the extra help.

Sherman said she expects an accompanying Crime Viewer e-mail notification system to be in place by summer's end. The Crime Viewer also is available to users on their smart phones.

Gualtieri predicted Crime Viewer will save the county a significant chunk of change; now that citizens can search crime data for themselves, existing staff in the Sheriff's Office won't need to dedicate time to search for, compile and print crime reports for private citizens.

"In these budget times, we're looking to reduce our staff through the use of technology," Gualtieri said. He said he does not yet have an estimate of how much money the Crime Viewer will save the Sheriff's Office.

And, according to Capt. Jim Main, the county created the website on the cheap. Instead of using an out-of-the-box software that would cost each participating department $99 to $199 per month in subscription fees, the county's Business Technology Services division created Crime Viewer from scratch for the free use of all involved.

That also means Sheriff's Office administrators could tailor the website to function exactly as they pleased. For example, crime occurrences are listed by the block only, not by the building address, in order to protect the privacy of victims who report the crimes themselves.

Of course, that doesn't apply to sex offenders registered in Pinellas County. Type in an address and click the checkbox next to "View Sex Offenders," and the names, photographs and addresses of all registered sex offenders and sexual predators in the area appear in pop-up boxes.

Gualtieri said he thinks the website will help county residents keep themselves safe. If a user logs on and notices a recent surge in reports of a prowler in the area, he will be more likely to lock his doors and windows.

"I think that being aware of what's happening in the area," Gualtieri said, "is always a good thing to help us prevent crime."

How to use it

Visit In the left column of the Crime Viewer website, click on "QuickStart Guide" for a simple two-page manual on how to use all the basic Crime Viewer functions. Click "User Guide" for a more detailed, 21-page explanation of each feature. More questions? E-mail supportctr@pinellas

Who's involved

Crime Viewer is a program of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and nine city police departments in the county: Belleair, Clearwater, Gulfport, Indian Shores, Largo, Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island.

Interactive Web map helps Pinellas County residents track crime 06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando commissioners question sheriff's accounting of federal inmate dollars

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — As Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis and his staff presented his proposed 2017-18 budget earlier this month, county Commissioner Steve Champion threw out an unexpected question.

    Sheriff Al Nienhuis and the county fought over his department’s budget last year.
  2. Unused county property in Pasco could soon sprout community gardens

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Unused property in Pasco County may soon sprout community gardens that beautify neighborhoods and promote healthier lifestyles among residents, thanks to an ordinance passed unanimously Tuesday by the County Commission.

    A new Pasco ordinance allows the public to build community gardens and farms on county-owned property and also provides design, operations and maintenance standards for them.
  3. Treasure Island city manager search to start from scratch

    Local Government

    TREASURE ISLAND — City commissioners, disappointed with the number and quality of applicants for city manager, decided Tuesday to start over and hire an executive search firm.

    Treasure Island Commissioner Ken Keys thought adding former Madeira Beach city manager Shane Crawford to the pool would "bring a little too much drama.''
  4. Family escapes fire that destroys New Tampa home


    A family is safe after an overnight fire destroyed a single-story home in New Tampa on Thursday, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

    An overnight house fire destroyed a home at 10265 Estuary Dr in New Tampa on Thursday. The family's smoke detectors helped everyone get out of the house safely, fire officials said. [Tampa Fire Rescue]
  5. Forecast: Hot, humid conditions across Tampa Bay with less rain in wake of Tropical Storm Cindy


    Drier air will push into the Tampa Bay area in the wake of Tropical Storm Cindy, providing a little relief from the rain — but not the heat and humidity.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]