By Susan Tebben
A program that will benefit residents of Poland and those considering moving here has been put in place by local law enforcement.
“We have no current crime-watch program, so we were looking for some tool for the community to use to keep an eye on what’s happening in their area,” said Sgt. Bob Monus of the Poland Village Police Department, who helped bring the program to fruition.
The police department has partnered with BAIR (Behavioral Analysis & Intelligence Resources) Analytics Inc. of Reston, Va., to create a new crime map of the village on RAIDS Online.
RAIDS Online displays all crimes in the area by category, date and location.
Through the website, residents can view a map of crimes in the area, but also can sign up for “neighborhood watch reports” that automatically email a crime report of recent activity, Monus said. They also can submit anonymous crime tips through the site. Other areas, including Youngstown, also are available to view on the site.
“It’s a communication tool,” Monus said. “It parallels with our record-management system so that when crimes occur, they go to that site when they’re put into our records.”
The new tool was presented to the village administration at a recent council meeting, and Mayor Tim Sicafuse was on board from the start.
“I think it’s a great thing for the community,” Sicafuse said. “It’s a good thing for those already here, and it’s natural for people that want to move to look at the crime statistics — so this will be good for them, too.”
The service is free to law enforcement and is provided as an effort to help communities during times of budget cuts and funding shortages.
“We consider this a basic service that we are more than happy to provide to the public and our law-enforcement friends,” said Sean Bair, founder of the company, in a statement.
The maps and notifications also can be accessed through smartphones with the free RAIDS Online Mobile application. Users can sign up for daily, weekly and monthly updates.