BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is providing the public a new way to stay informed about crime in the county.
On Thursday, the sheriff's office announced it has partnered with BAIR Analytics Inc. to provide an online crime map called RAIDS On-Line which analyzes crime data, alerts citizens about crimes in the area and allows the sheriff's office to quickly alert the public about crimes as they occur.
"It gives us a better way of doing our business," said Capt. Melissa Blanchard, who has spearheaded the Sheriff's Office partnership with BAIR.
She added that it will be another crime prevention tool for the agency.
"For residents it provides a snapshot of serious crimes in their neighborhood. If something is going on in your area you don't have to wait for that monthly meeting at your neighborhood crime watch when you come together. You know about it everyday," said Blanchard.
Capt. Blanchard said the goal is to increase awareness and vigilance in the community. Residents also can sign up on the website to receive e-mail alerts about crimes happening in their areas.
"The Sheriff is trying to do everything he can to get the community engaged and keeping an eye on their neighborhoods," she said. "Hopefully this raises their awareness and gets them looking out for possible future crimes in their communities."
"The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office's participation in RAIDS On-Line highlights their commitment to proactive communication with the public they serve," said Sean Bair, founder of BAIR Analytics, "We're excited to partner with the Sheriff's Office to provide this free service for their public."
"The information also will help improve officer awareness and accountability," Blanchard said.
The sheriff's office says before going to work, deputies can check to see what has happened in their areas while they were off, she said. And it gives the Sheriff's Office a new tool to analyze crime trends and determine how best to use its patrol and investigative resources.
Crimes listed on the site include both persons and property. The locations are rounded to the hundred block address level to protect victim confidentiality.
Anyone can visit Berkeley County's crime map at: http://www.raidsonline.com/?address=BerkeleyCounty,%20SC