Community offers high tech crime tools

March 18, 2010 4:01:21 PM PDT
Technology is helping homeowners stay informed now more than ever about just how safe their neighborhoods are. Residents in one Fort Bend County community have a new tool helping them track assaults, murders, robberies with daily updates. Missouri City police say their job is not only to keep the city's 70,000 residents safe, but also to keep them informed and connected. As part of that effort, they're now uploading to the internet the latest crime data for everyone to see.

"They can zoom into their own neighborhood. They can zoom into their own street," said Capt. John Bailey with the Missouri City Police. "They can see the crimes that are occurring within a tenth of a mile, within five tenths of a mile, whatever parameters they put in."

The website is called RAIDS-online -- Regional Analysis and Information Data Sharing. It color codes and locates various types of crime throughout the city. And it is free.

Capt. Bailey explained, "This is a very new mapping system for us. It's our way of becoming more involved in our community."

Every 24 hours the department takes its latest information and puts it online. In addition to the crime data, the site also allows users to communicate directly with the department to discuss concerns.

"We want our community to know what's going on out there, and in turn we're asking them for their help," Capt. Bailey said. "They see that there may be a series of burglaries going in their neighborhood or their subdivision. That will make them more aware."

Right now the database goes back to January 2009. But the longer the site is up and running, the more extensive the information will be.

There's one website for public access and another for law enforcement only. That database will allow for greater use of resources within the agencies. It's expected to be up and running this summer.


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