Reynoldsburg residents are now able to track crime in the city, thanks to an online map on the Reynoldsburg Police Department website.
The map analyzes crime data, marking individual crimes with symbols that represent each event.
Clicking on a symbol brings up more details about that event, such as where and when it occurred. People also may submit anonymous tips about particular crimes.
Lt. Ron Wright said the department wanted to make the map available "to give residents the advantage of knowing what is happening in their neighborhoods."
"It is another way for us to reach out to our citizens and educate them on the types of crime happening around them, to help them become situational aware," he said. "We are hoping the results will include the public education and safety of our citizens. We are also using this as a way to encourage citizens to become involved with their community."
The online map was provided free of charge to the department by Bair Analytics. A mobile app also is available.
Company founder Sean Bair is a former police officer. He said Bair Analytics' customers include the U.S. Department of Defense and nearly half of the largest public-safety agencies in the United States.
"We consider this a basic service that we are more than happy to provide to the public and our law enforcement friends," he said.
Residents may view the map and grid of all the crimes in their area and other areas of Reynoldsburg and may also sign up for neighborhood watch reports that automatically email information about recent crime activity.
Bair said Raids Online automatically connects with Reynoldsburg Police Department records system to keep crime information updated online and in the mobile app.
He said Raids Online cleans and geocodes the crime data, then displays all the incidents on the map, providing a grid and an analytics dashboard, along with basic information about the incidents, including type of crime, location type, block-level address, date and time.
Wright said the map could give citizens a chance to get involved in crime prevention.
"We are hoping if citizens see what crime is taking place in their neighborhood, they will take a more active approach toward crime prevention through community block watches," he said.
Wright said residents could end up helping officers pinpoint areas in the city that may need more attention from police.
"We are seeking more tips from the public to help direct our crime efforts and hopefully take a more active approach to crime prevention as opposed to a reactive approach, to just responding to past crimes," he said.
When using the online mobile app, users may click on an incident for more information or display a hotspot map based on the crimes that are currently in the display. The app makes all the information accessible from anywhere from a user's mobile device.
Bair said the Raids Online mobile app is available for free on the App Store.