New web site allows anyone to track crimes - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New web site allows anyone to track crimes


 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Tracking down criminals isn't just for the police anymore. Now you can help too.

People turn to the Internet for everything, from getting directions to finding the perfect recipe to checking out sales at your favorite stores.

Now you can track crimes.

A new web site allows you to pinpoint what crimes are being committed, how often and how close it is to your home.

"The community can access information at their fingertips in the luxury of their home," said Wausau Police Lieutenant Lisa Rennie.

In August, the Wausau Police Department started tracking crimes with a new program called CrimeReports. Now, they open it to everyone in the city to see if more eyes on the streets can lead to a stronger police force.

"The public needs to be aware of what's happening in their community," said Lt. Rennie. "And that lets them partner with us to work on solving crimes and this gives them that venue in a very timely and accurate manner."

The web site uses different symbols to show where illegal activity happens in the city and you can personalize the site to show as much or as little as you want.

If you click on the symbols, you can find out more about each incident, like when and where each one happened. It may look like Wausau has more crime than other areas, but that's because it's the first city in our area to join Crime Reports.

"You will see the crime mapping real intense in the city of Wausau and then you will see nothing outside the city of Wausau except for the sex offenders," said Lt. Rennie.

But that doesn't mean Wausau is necessarily more dangerous than other places. It's only tracked here.

Even people who live outside the city can check the site and anyone can get email alerts on a daily or monthly basis. Police said landlords and potential home buyers might be more interested in the site but it's open for anyone to use.

"We actually are using the eyes and ears of the community," said Lt. Rennie. "We're showing them where we had crime within the last eight hours and they have the ability to submit tips through Marathon Crimestoppers right out of the crime reports web site."

The program costs the city $99 a month but Wausau Police said they think it will be money well spent.

For more information or to try it out yourself, go to the CrimeReports web site.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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