Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson is considering joining the City of Statesboro in utilizing an online crime information mapping service, but he wants citizen input before signing the deal.
The City of Statesboro partnered with CrimeReports.com to offer citizens information about local crimes at the click of a mouse. Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner has reported positive feedback from both citizens and law enforcement officers in utilizing the site.
Anderson is interested in how county residents feel about the service, which is temporarily available for review.
The website makes it simple to learn about area robberies, traffic accidents and other crimes and incidents, Turner said. Anderson has been reviewing the expanded service, which covers the entire county on a trial basis, and if citizens like the crime mapping site, may opt to make it permanent.
Information about area crimes, accidents and other reported incidents is already collected and managed by records management software purchased from Mobile Data Systems( MDS), used by both the city and county law enforcement, Anderson said.
Concerned citizens can also submit tips on crimes, which will help police solve more crimes in a shorter amount of time, he said. The program offers online tip submission or submission by text - and it is completely anonymous.
The crime mapping information is found at Internet website www.CrimeReports.com. By keying in a city name, users can access reports for any participating city. County users can take advantage of the trial and scan areas outside of city limits to find their neighborhoods. The maps show icons for various crimes, as well as for the addresses of registered sex offenders.
People can access the crime map 24 hours a day through the website or through a free iPhone application. Users can also sign up for free customizable email alerts, if Anderson decides to accept the offer.
An important part of the program is the easy way to give police tips on crimes. Using a cell phone, citizens can send a text to TIPSSPD, followed by the message, to 274637, Anderson said.
The program is free to the public. CrimeReports works with over 1,600 law enforcement agencies across North America and is the largest public crime-mapping and citizen tip network in the country.
Users can also create a custom neighborhood watch feature that gives them instant information about specific areas such as their own neighborhood, he said.
Anderson asks citizens to explore CrimeReports.com, scanning their neighborhoods and other areas in which they are interested, and to call Inv. Jared Akins at 912-764-1789, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 912-489-9414.