New Online Crime Mapping Site Expected To Help Stop Crimes - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

New Online Crime Mapping Site Expected To Help Stop Crimes

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – After Facebook helped solve a handful of major cases, the Jackson sheriff and police departments teamed up to find an online solution that can help the public spot suspicious activity.

The "County Crime Viewer," a crime-mapping website that maps the date and location of every crime reported to the sheriff and police departments, is live for the public.

"We have had at least, in my recollection, three very major cases where Facebook contributed to solving crimes," Rand said.

"At least one was a homicide that I'm aware of," said Rand

He says they're hoping the "County Crime Viewer" works better.

The website will be updated within 24 hours of a crime's occurrence. And because the exact address where the crime occurred is not provided, Rand said it balances victim privacy with transparency.

The Jackson Police Department expects the site to help officers respond to inquiries about the community.

"We get requests from people who are moving to the area and they're looking at houses in particular neighborhoods that they want to live in," said Dep. Chief John Holda.

"We get a lot of requests that say: what's the criminal activity for the past year in this neighborhood?" Holda said.

Rand and Holda said with real-time information, they hope the site clears up misconceptions about crime and safety in Jackson.

"People's perception often times are that crime is running rampant," Rand said.

"But I think in reality, especially if you go to the website, and you look at your geographical area, you'll find that what crime is there you shouldn't be overly concerned about," such as juvenile crime or misdemeanors Rand said.

The more information people have on the types of crimes that happen where they live, the more likely they are to spot suspicious activity, Rand said.

"Whether it be assault, or lareny or MDOP - malicious destruction of property - where you might want to pay extra attention to maybe kids being on the street after hours," Rand said.

Rand says when citizens are in tune with what's happening, they can report out-of-place activity and perhaps help the police prevent a crime from happening. 

To check out the site for yourself, visit www.co.jackson.mi.us/CountyGIS/CrimeMapping/index.html.

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