Poland Village residents are now able to track crime within their neighborhoods, thanks to a new tool provided through a partnership between the Village Police Department and BAIR Analytics Inc. The new tool is an online link to a web page that gives up-to-date information on crimes soon after they happen.
"I met with Mayor Tim Sicafuse and police Chief Russ Beatty," said Poland Village Police Sgt. Bob Monus. "They both liked the idea."
The new site is at www.raidsonline.com. The initial web page brings up a U.S. map and by entering Poland, Ohio, 44514 at the left of the map, it will move to a map of Poland Village.
Included on the map are icons representing the various type of criminal activity that police respond to. One can even move the date back to see where the crimes have been over the past several months.
"We are the first entity outside the city of Youngstown to get this," Monus said. "The residents of the village have always been supportive of the police department, so we found this to be a good info sharing tool."
Not only does the website give residents an updated criminal activity profile, but it could potentially bring clues to help solve crimes. Monus said a resident may have seen a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood and thought little of it. If they found a crime like home burglary took place on their street, they may put it together and report the suspicious vehicle. That could potentially lead to solving the crime.
Monus said it can also help residents become aware of crimes around their own neighborhoods. They may see a lot of vehicle break-ins and will begin locking their vehicles at night, for instance.
"The best thing about this system is that it is free," Monus said.
It also has other features that residents can take advantage of. They can sign up for neighborhood watch reports that automatically send emails of recent crime activity. It also allows email tips to be reported directly to the Poland Village Police. Other features include a mobile app for iPhone users.
BAIR Analytics was established in 1997 as an analytical software and service company that provides tool and expertise for public safety, private security, national security and defense entities. The company is based in Colorado and provides the RAIDS Online as a free service to communities.
In a press release, Sean Bair, founder of BAIR Analytics said, "The Poland Village Police Department's participation in RAIDS Online highlights their commitment to proactive communication with the public they serve. We're excited to partner with the Poland Village Police Department to provide this free service for their public."
Monus said he saw the benefits of the program and is happy to be able to make this move.
"The more the community is aware of crime in their area, the more it will be reduced," he said. "This is a great tool for us and the community."