In digging around in the Prince George’s County website, I clicked on the Liveable Communities tab, which took me to maps, which took me to another page…you get the idea. This was buried pretty deep.

But…it’s neat stuff.  The Crime Map is set up so you can put in a property address, select the type of crime you’re interested in and see the impact on the neighborhood. It’s a little tricky — once you put in the address and select the type of crime, the map just seems to sit there. It took me a while to realize that I had to zoom in and then pan around the map to see what was what.

Fortunately, not much has happened around my house in the last three months. No homicides (well, none of those as far back as I can remember!) or anything serious. I know that there have been a few car thefts and some items stolen from cars, but nothing earth-shattering. But still, it’s a neat tool for anyone who has ever asked a real estate agent “How safe is the neighborhood?”. Now you can see what types of calls the police are responding to around any specific property.

When buyers call the police department to ask about crime, I have always recommended asking “what types of calls do you respond to” instead of the more subjective “is this a safe neighborhood?” The first will get you an answer that is verifiable and the second will get you a biased opinion that may or may not be valid

Here’s a tool with no bias — it just is. Be sure to read the explanation on the first page. I skipped it the first time through and I think that’s why I was somewhat stymied once I got to the site.

© 2007 Susan Pruden.

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