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August 30, 2013

Track Norman crime online

NORMAN — Norman residents and the rest of the public now have resources available at their fingertips to track crime in their neighborhood and across the city.

The Norman Police Department recently partnered with BAIR Analytics Inc. to create an online crime map, RAIDS Online, to provide the public with a new way to stay informed about crime in Norman. There is also a free RAIDS Online Mobile app for those interested.

“Knowledge is power,” Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said.

The program will allow individuals to view a map and grid with all of the crimes in their area, sign up for neighborhood watch reports that automatically email a breakdown of recent crime activity and to submit an anonymous tip about a crime directly to their law enforcement agency.

The program also allows police to quickly alert the public about crimes as they occur.

“It’s a benefit if you live in a neighborhood or area that is or is not affected by crime,” Easley said, adding that residents can research crime occurrences, as well.

The reports are put into the program on a regular basis, and individuals should be able to find reports within 24 hours of the incident, he said.

The program also will help with community-oriented policing efforts. Easley said as a result of this program, everyone can contribute.

“Crime prevention is a team sport. Police can’t do it all by themselves, no way, no how,” he said. “We need eyes, ears and information from the community. If we don’t have that, there’s only so much we can do.”

The program allows residents to report crimes, anonymously if they wish.

“A lot of people prefer to remain anonymous, and that’s fine, but the drawback of that is that we don’t have anybody we can subsequently contact and ask questions (for further investigation),” Easley said.

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