Tracking crime just became easier in Iberia Parish. The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office recently began utilizing new technology to better serve and protect. Crime-mapping is a crime web application that allows the public to see crimes that have happened in the last 6 months.
The new subscription service, created by the Omega group, launched in June with the help of IPSO I-T Officer Jimmy Lewis.
"It's nice to have a visual diagram of what is going on. We can tell you all day long that we had 199 calls last week but until you really look at it, then you can kind of get a grasp of how busy we are," explained Lewis.
Crimemapping.com allows user to see the incident number, date and time and 100 block address of any crime committed. Suspects and/or victim name and identification is not allowed to be displayed. It’s cost-effective at $3,000 dollars per year, paid for by the I-T department, and user-friendly.
The public can use any web browser to log on to crimemapping.com. After clicking on the United State graphic, selecting Louisiana, then selecting Iberia Parish Sheriff Office, anyone can zoom into any area of the parish to see every call responded to by a deputy.
“Anything from a simple alarm activation, OWI, reckless driving, domestic disturbance. Domestic disturbance calls are the highest on there," said Lewis.
Currently, 43% of crimes committed in the half-year time frame are domestic disturbances. A statistic, the public can now see on their computer, I-phone App or Android. In fact, the public can search for addresses while reducing or increasing the radius for a more specific search.
Pie-charts break down crime types and bar graphs show the crime type by the day of the week. If someone wants a more detailed report daily, the service allows users to subscribe to email alerts.
Some might argue that allowing such an extensive search for crime statistics can be damaging to home-owners and home-buyers. Lewis stressed the importance of knowing the area before hand to those interested in moving into the parish.
"Filter down and look back to the past 6 months in the area that maybe there is a house that they are looking for and they can see what kinds of crimes have occurred.”
As for anyone negatively critiquing the application or worrying the service will create a neighborhood stigma on certain areas of the parish, Lewis suggested using the knowledge to create a better partnership with the sheriff’s office. Lewis also praised the application in terms of how deputies use the collective date to better grasp areas in need of special attention.
Currently, the IPSO is one of four agencies in the state that utilize crimemapping.com.
The New Orleans Police Department, St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office also use the service. IPSO is the only agency in Acadiana with the subscription. Other Acadiana agencies, including the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office use similar applications.
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