CPD un­veils new in­ter­ac­tive crime map for Newton Co.

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­news.com

The Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment is go­ing one step be­yond the typ­i­cal hol­i­day warn­ings to shop­pers this year. With their in­ter­ac­tive crime map and sev­eral sem­i­nars be­ing given, they are tak­ing a proac­tive ap­proach to stomp out crime this hol­i­day sea­son and make cit­i­zens a lit­tle more aware of what's hap­pen­ing in the city.

“Ev­ery year, come the hol­i­days, we all know what's go­ing to hap­pen,” said De­tec­tive Daniel Seals. “And we can tell peo­ple what we've seen but now, with the new crim­i­nal in­tel­li­gence unit, we can take the in­for­ma­tion we al­ready have and turn it into ac­tion­able in­tel­li­gence.”

And that in­for­ma­tion that of­fi­cers and de­tec­tives at the po­lice depart­ment have, is avail­able to the pub­lic by vis­it­ing www.cov­ing­ton­po­lice.com and click­ing on the 'crime info' tab to the right of the screen. The first thing that pops up is a map of the city with tabs at

the top to nar­row down a search by num­ber of days, sex of­fend­ers and crimes. Af­ter en­ter­ing an ad­dress, things can be nar­rowed down even fur­ther by spe­cific types of crimes. Icons will pop up on the map once you've en­tered your in­for­ma­tion. Click on those and you can see de­tails of the crimes and of the sex of­fend­ers.

“It's a dif­fer­ent way to see the in­for­ma­tion,” said Seals. “And it's an­other way for cit­i­zens to pro­tect them­selves.”

For in­stance, if a cit­i­zen is plan­ning a trip to a store in the city, sim­ply type in the ad­dress of the place you are headed and you can see if there is an in­crease of crimes in that area or any crime at all. Cit­i­zens can also see what is hap­pen­ing in their neigh­bor­hood as well, and where any sex of­fend­ers re­side. There is also a tab to re­port a crime to the po­lice depart­ment and Seals stressed that not only does the depart­ment want cit­i­zens to re­port crimes, but also to call if they see be­hav­ior they think is sus­pi­cious.

“We wel­come the call be­fore the crime,” he said.

And al­though hol­i­day shop­pers can look for crimes be­fore they shop, the stan­dards still ap­ply. Au­thor­i­ties urge shop­pers to be aware of their sur­round­ings, not to leave pack­ages and valu­ables where they can be seen in­side a ve­hi­cle and for ladies to hold on to their purses and keep them closed so that a wal­let can't be eas­ily lifted out.

“If you're bet­ter in­formed and you make your­self a harder tar­get thieves will go else­where,” said Seals. “Crim­i­nals aren't in the busi­ness of risk with­out re­ward.”

Seals is also host­ing sev­eral sem­i­nars at The Cen­ter on Washington Street. They will be held at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., Mon­day and on Dec. 6. Con­tact the Newton County Cham­ber of Com­merce at (770) 786-7510 for more in­for­ma­tion.

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