BSO arms residents with new crime-protection tool
Updated On: Jul 16 2014 06:03:00 PM EDT
The Broward Sheriff's Office is arming resident with a new tool to protect themselves from crime.
The agency is now submitting its crime data to CrimeMapping.com, a website and smartphone app that allows users to see what crimes are occurring in their neighborhoods.
Just type in an address and a bunch of icons symbolizing different types of crimes appear on the map.
The idea is to give residents the information they need to protect themselves. For example, if the site shows an uptick of burglaries in a particular neighborhood, you may want to keep the garage door closed.
"They can search back to six months so they can see what's happening where, what the trends are," BSO spokeswoman Gina Carter said. "It does not divulge any private information. It doesn't give exact address. It does not give victims information because we don't want to re-victimize people who have been victims of crime."
BSO joined the Crime Mapping site at the request of city leaders and residents in Deerfield Beach, like Barbara Moriarty, who lives in the Deer Creek community.
"Knowing that this stuff is going on around you, does it make you feel unsafe?" asked Local 10's Roger Lohse.
"Not really, because I take precautions," Moriarty said. "If you're not aware of it, you'll think everything is fine. I don't need to set my alarm, but because I'm aware of it, I realize it's important to be safe."
The BSO is now submitting crime data from all 13 of its contract cities to CrimeMapping.com. Other police agencies in South Florida also participate in the program, including Miami, Miami-Dade, Hollywood and Plantation.
To sign up for daily emails alerting you to crimes that have occurred in your community, you can visit the website by clicking here.