We've talked about the Fresno Crime Map here before – a compulsively useable reader reference that seems certain to appeal to audiences everywhere. Others have had success with features like the Crime Scene K.C. blog at the Star, and Lights & Sirens, in Tacoma. The L.A. Times has a sophisticated new iteration, too, available here.
Each of these projects takes a different approach, but each rests on a fundamental truth: people are interested in crime, especially when it gets localized and focused on their own back yard.
Why aren't you running the Crime Map, for starters? Fresno can supply the architecture; you just need to arrange for local data inputs.