Anyone living in the Youngstown area will now have a new, high-tech means of tracking crime in the community.
The Youngstown Police Department and BAIR Analytics, an analytical software and service company operating in cities across the country, have partnered in offering a crime-mapping system called “RAIDS Online.”
The system maps and analyzes crime data, alerts citizens about crime in a given area, and allows the Youngstown Police Department to quickly alert the public about crime as it occurs.
Citizens can view a map and grid with all the crimes in the area, sign up for neighborhood block-watch reports that automatically email a breakdown of recent crime activity, and submit an anonymous tip about a crime directly to the police department.
Police Chief Rod Foley said the ability for citizens to interact with police anonymously via the Internet will be of great importance to the department and people living in the community.
“This is important because we can’t solve all the crime out there, especially property crimes, so we want people to know what’s going on so they can help us out,” the chief said. “They can be our eyes and ears out there. This is another tool to eliminate any apathy and keep people involved.”
Foley said use of the software is free to the public and the city, not costing taxpayers anything. He said it details and highlights crime but holds back victims’ addresses and information.
“This is pretty neat for a free system. You can do a lot of things on there. It is really a good way to stay connected to us,” Foley added.
The system automatically links with the police department’s records system and updates several times a day to keep information provided current.
Residents can find the system by logging onto the City of Youngstown’s Page at www.cityofyoungstown.org, then click on Departments to find police and follow the prompts. It also can be found by logging onto www.raidsonline.com.
Foley said the mapping system is linked with the city’s website so users can multitask while online.
“I wanted to link it with the city’s website so people can also see what’s going on in the city and anything else the mayor may want highlighted,” he said.
RAIDS Online also offers a free mobile app available on the App Store.