Merced Police unveil online crime fighting tool

FRESNO, Calif.

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The page is available through crimemapping.com. Users can see where officers have responded to calls in the past ninety days ... and which types of crimes have been reported.

Residents can also sign up for email alerts that tell them when crimes are reported near certain locations, like their home, work, or their children's school.

The police chief says the service will help his department make the most of limited resources during these tough economic times. "I think this will be absolutely monumental because it's going to allow us to look at the trends, take this technology and better use our resources that we do have, which includes manpower." Chief Norm Andrade said.

The website and email alerts are free for users. The service costs the Merced Police Department $1,200.00 a year. The first four years are being covered by federal stimulus grants. But after that, the department will have to find other funding sources.

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