Community Post

CDNews 2008: Scanner Wrap-up

Just over a year ago Santa brought us a scanner for Christmas. Our early plans for it were pretty minor – we only wanted a way to check up on details when we heard sirens around the neighborhood.  But once we started listening, we had a hard time turning it off. Even the small events had these little bits of drama in them that made it irresistible. We started off simple, just writing down the occasional event that was interesting, and over time evolved into the real-time mapped report you see today.

In the last year we had 3,437 individual scanner entries. The most memorable came across at about 11:15am on January 30th, when an exasperated-sounding dispatcher cut in on the radio and said “We just received a call that shots have been fired at 23rd & Union and a man is laying in the street bleeding”. I ran to the scene just as medics were arriving to attempt life-saving measures on Philly’s owner Degene Berecha Deshasa. Unfortunately, they were not successful.

Here’s the full round-up:

232 Shoplifting events (map) – The winning location?  QFC at Broadway & Pike.  They pulled ahead in the last 2 months to best Goodwill with a score of 61 to 56. I guess it’s a bit comforting to know that most shoplifting is for the basics: food and 2nd-hand clothing.

642 Disturbances (map) – This is like the catch-all category for police events.  Usually someone yelling, arguing, or refusing to leave a business.

137 Assaults (map) – From small to serious

90 Burglaries (map) – This gave us an inside view on the summer’s burglary spree

169 Alarms (map) – Cops spend a lot of time dealing with false alarms.

200 Narcotics Activity reports (map) – There’s a lot of drug calls, but from what we can tell they rarely result in any concrete action

168 Suspicious Circumstances (map) –  See some people poking around a house who shouldn’t be there?  It’ll end up in this category

58 Robberies (map)- We hear an average of one bank robbery every day somewhere in the city

30 Roustings (map)- Got a homeless man blocking your front door?  A surprising number of people call SPD to move them along.

151 Accidents (map) – Small to major


Should be interesting to see what pops up on the scanner in 2009.  Stay tuned….

0 thoughts on “CDNews 2008: Scanner Wrap-up

  1. I can’t thank you enough for the service you do for the community. This data is absolutely incredible!

  2. Very interesting to see the concentrations of different kinds of calls over a year. Keep up the good work!

  3. wish your site was around when I lived there. Keep up the good work I’ll recommend to my friends still in the city.

  4. I live in the CD and check this site several times a day (mostly with Iphone), it is a true gift that you provide to us all!

  5. Yay Scott, CDGuy, and the rest at CD News World Headquarters. Thanks for keeping us all so well informed!

    When’s the next meet-up?

  6. It’s nice to see that 23rd & Union doesn’t live up to it’s reputation. Only narcotics seems to be heavy on that corner but not any more than anywhere else. It’s good to know that it is safer than we think it is.

  7. Scott,
    I think you’re providing a valuable information service. I’d love to do this in my neighborhood, a few miles from the CD. Could you contact me via email so I can ask you a few questions about your setup?


  8. Thanks again for your dedication to the Scanner Reports. Your trustworthy diligence helped us keep our piece of mind after our house was robbed during the string of burglaries in the Madison Valley neigborhood last spring-summer. Any new info about the suspects? Our neighbors and I know them only by face, we assume they spent the fall in Juvey as they are back on the streets.

  9. No new info on the burglary suspects. The fact that they’re juveniles makes it very hard for us to find out anything about their flow through the justice system. But if you have any information, such as names, addresses, or photos, please send them to us privately

  10. I happen to have good information about Goodwill and the number posted is definitely not correct. Goodwill gets around 2 shoplifts a day on average (about 60 per month). Police are called out only in certain circumstances. I’m sure this is similar to what QFC has too, so I’m not saying this to say that Goodwill beat QFC…just to add some inside info. In 2009, Goodwill already has around 180 shoplifts (raw estimate). As far as how many times SPD was called out, it was definitely more than 56 times. Closer to 100-150.