New crime tracking tool for Reedley residents

FRESNO, Calif.

Residents can now see where crime is happening in their neighborhood right on their computer or smartphone.

Gone are the days when police used pin maps to track crime trends. Now officers are going high tech. The Reedley Police Department is turning crime stats into an online crime database accessible to anyone.

"Trying to become a little bit more innovative and trying to identify, be a little bit more intelligence-led policing," Reedley Police Chief Joe Garza said.

Just this week Reedley police began using to show where reported incidents have happened.

"Narcotic cases, disturbances that are occurring, so this becomes very interactive," Garza said.

The site allows computer users to see what kind of crime and when it happened dating back to April of this year.

"Police department can't be everywhere at all times, so we need the community to be involved and this is just one other tool that we're hoping is going to get the community involved," Garza said.

You can also sign up for crime alerts. Residents are then notified through email if a crime is committed in their neighborhood.

"I think it's going to be a good tool that we need in our community and I think it will help a lot of our neighborhoods," Mayor Pro Tem Anita Betancourt said.

Betancourt has long advocated for increased awareness of crime but she says the system isn't ideal for Spanish speakers or people who don't have access to the internet.

"It would make it a little more difficult for them, plus the language barrier," Betancourt said.

Still the department hopes people sign up for the alerts so they can become more aware of what's happening in their neighborhood and hopefully help prevent crimes of opportunity.

"If they identify if there was a burglary or vehicle break or something in their neighborhood, vehicle theft, then they can at least start taking some proactive steps to deal with the problem," Garza said.

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