ABC Owned Stations Launch ‘Neighborhood Safety Tracker’

The new interactive websites provide viewers with essential crime and safety data in their neighborhoods in the O&O’s eight markets.

The ABC Owned Television Stations’ Neighborhood Safety Tracker is a new interactive website and app that provides viewers with up-to-date crime and safety information tailored to each individual market.

Working with data collected from local police departments, the Neighborhood Safety Tracker provides the latest crime data in the major cities community-by-community in each local market ABC covers  — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno, Calif. — to add authority to daily public safety stories and in-depth special reports by ABC’s award-winning investigative journalists.

The data is gleaned from the public record which individual police departments and state agencies release regularly. The ABC Owned Television Stations’ data journalism team then reviews this data and, while working with its reporters in the newsrooms across the country, produces stories that incorporate the data into breaking news stories and exclusive investigations. They also create interactive graphics and maps that enhance reporting on the news of the day, leading to more viewer engagement and important stories on the latest major crime figures where people live – and how that compares to past trends, impacting people’s lives and safety.

Chad Matthews, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations, said: “The Neighborhood Safety Tracker is a groundbreaking news enhancement that delivers a reliable and essential view of safety where viewers live, providing more context for crime risk in cities and neighborhoods to help our viewers make informed decisions.

“News continues to be a top driver of engagement among our live TV viewers/subscribers. Our viewers have responded that being knowledgeable about crime trends in their area is essential in helping to protect themselves and their families and that their local TV stations are a trusted resource in keeping them informed and safe.”

While the data used in the Neighborhood Safety Tracker is not proprietary, the code used by the data journalism team is proprietary to the ABC Owned Television Stations. The code repeats the work daily or weekly, whenever new records become available, so the Neighborhood Safety Tracker is always up to date as the latest reports and records are released.


Overnight, programs run to continuously gather, analyze and rebuild the site every day. The result, the company says, “is a unique site for each market that provides viewer-friendly, searchable categories including homicide, theft, assault and burglary, among others. The data also provides hard facts about what is happening and where — information that can be used to hold police and local officials accountable.”

ABC Owned Television Stations created its data journalism team in 2019, led by director John Kelly, a veteran investigative journalist with a history of award-winning data projects. He assembled a team of data reporters to be based in each of OTV’s newsrooms. The data team is made up of journalists with special training in data, statistics and computer programming. Under his stewardship, there have been an increasing number of national investigations that the ABC Owned Television Stations team is developing with ABC News.

With the completion of the rollout of the Neighborhood Safety Tracker in all eight ABC Owned Television Station markets, the team will look to upgrade and expand to additional suburbs in the eight markets this year. Additional safety measures that are important to viewers, such as information on traffic accidents or safety lighting, may also be added. Meanwhile, the Neighborhood Safety Tracker’s use in daily crime coverage will continue to be a valuable tool for reporters using it for investigative and solutions journalism.

Following is a complete list of the Neighborhood Safety Tracker sites available in the eight ABC Owned Television Station markets:

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