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APD unveils new crime-mapping system

By KTVA CBS 11 News 5:14 PM April 16, 2014

With the help of a new crime mapping system, Anchorage residents can track crimes that occur in or around their neighborhood.

The new system is called RAIDS Online and it’s free for the public to use. An app is also available.

It uses data from the Anchorage Police Department to show crimes like sexual assaults, burglaries and break-ins.

Residents can submit anonymous tips through the website and track crimes on a timetable or by address.

KTVA found Brian Hewling in Fairview. He recently downloaded APD’s free app.

“It’s always interesting to know where crime is happening,” Hewling said.

The system will be helpful for real estate agents, property owners and community councils, police say.

It’s important to note that if the crime location isn’t known, the data refers to the location where the crime was reported.

Police say they plan to add it to their tools for intelligence-based patrolling.

“Now look at it from the standpoint of a like a unit like CAP, Community Action Policing team. They’re going to do longer term projects, so this is obviously going to help them. They’re going to do the Inlet Inn, they’re going to try and find out where the homeless camps are,” said Police Chief Mark Mew.

Right now, information will be uploaded once a day, but police say they hope to increase that amount.

It will cost about $7,600 per year — that’s about $2,000 cheaper than the former mapping program, Mew said. It’s paid for through asset forfeitures from criminal cases, he said, meaning taxpayers aren’t footing the bill.

“The criminals and drug dealers are paying for this,” Mew said.

The new system is free to the public to use via app or website.

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