Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Metro Nashville website now maps addresses of people recently arrested

Residents can check Web to see where defendants live By Nicole Young • THE TENNESSEAN • April 20, 2010 Janice Lampley doesn't know her neighbors as well as she used to, and that scares her. When she and her husband, Wallace, first moved to their Charlotte Pike neighborhood 30 years ago they knew everyone on their street, but not anymore. "People come and go, and we have no idea who they are,'' she said. "They may be hard-working people that don't have time to get acquainted, and that's fine, but you just don't know. If I had a child, I'd be very concerned all the time." Now, with the click of a mouse, Lampley and others can at least know whether their neighbors have been arrested recently. Requests from community groups across the city led the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk's office to implement a new mapping system that tracks the addresses of people arrested in any given week. To access the information residents can go to the clerk's website at ccc.nashville.gov and click on "View & Map Arrest Data." Service is free Each day, the clerk's computer system is updated automatically at 2 a.m., said Chief Administrative Officer Tommy Bradley. Bradley said a computer program goes into the court files, grabs the addresses of everyone arrested in the past 24 hours and posts it online in the mapping feature. Everyone arrested seven days earlier is automatically removed from the mapping system during each daily update, he said. The system does not list where the crime occurred. "The program uses existing resources that we already use, so it doesn't cost us anything," Bradley said. And, the service is free for citizens. Nashville defense attorney David Raybin said arrest information is public record regardless of whether it is viewed on paper or a computer screen. "There are no privacy issues with the system because addresses are listed on warrants anyway,'' Raybin said. Lampley used it but she didn't find anything to worry about. "I thought it was a great tool," she said, "but I don't think many people will use it. Lots of people don't look up things. On the plus side though, I do think neighborhood leaders will check it. I know we will." Contact Nicole Young at 615-259-8091 or nyoung@tennessean.com.

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