First Advisor

Kris Henning

Term of Graduation

Spring 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Crime -- Maps, Crime -- Statistics, Police administration, Police-community relations, Public records



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 69 pages)


In recent years, some police departments have started providing open crime maps depicting select crime-related data. However, there has been no studies so far evaluating map delivery sources, the type of maps delivered, and why agencies might be doing so. Using a random, stratified sample of 1,677 police departments from the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, the current study examines how many police departments provide access to online crime maps as well as how they are delivered (externally or internally) and prevalent map types (dot, density, choropleth, etc.). Furthermore, whether or not agencies provided a justification(s) and/or explanation(s) associated with the displayed data were documented. The study found crime map availability increased over time, with most of them delivered externally and in the form of dot maps. Findings suggested that larger agencies, those with stronger commitment to community policing, higher website engagement, and higher social media use were more likely to deliver maps on their websites (p < .001). However, despite the widespread and increasing use of open crime maps, very few agencies offered justifications for such practices, and even fewer provided explanations concerning the maps themselves and mapped crime-related data.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Criminology Commons