Colin Drane is an unlikely warrior in the fight for open government.
An inventor and TV infomercial producer, Drane spent much of his career marketing products like the Trunkanizer for organizing car trunks, a toy called Bendaroos, and Invisi-lift self-adhesive breast enhancement pads.
Six years ago, Drane started a different kind of business – a company called ReportSee, which operates the website SpotCrime.com. The site obtains publicly available crime records from police agencies and graphically displays them on colorful maps.
Drane says the site attracts a million views a month from people curious about the burglaries, shootings, and other bedlam in their towns. The site makes money through advertising and from partnerships with television stations and other media organizations.
“Its primary appeal is folks involved in neighborhood watches and people who want to know what’s going on their communities,” Drane said in a phone interview.… Read more