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      Berkeley sheriff rolls out new online crime tracking site

      BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) - The Berkeley CountySheriff's Office{} launched this week anon-line crime map called RAIDS On-Line that maps and analyzes crime data,alerts citizens about crimes in their area and allows deputies to alert thepublic.

      "Itgives us a better way of doing our business," said Capt. Melissa Blanchard, whohas spearheaded the Sheriff's Office partnership with BAIR.{}

      Sheadded that it will be another crime prevention tool for the sheriff's office.{}

      "Forresidents it provides a snapshot of serious crimes in their neighborhood," shesaid. "If something is going on in your area you don't have to wait for thatmonthly meeting at your neighborhood crime watch when you come together. Youknow about it everyday."

      Blanchardsaid the sheriff's office's goal is to increase awareness of crimes in thecounty's many communities. Residents also have the ability sign up to receivee-mail alerts about crimes happening in their areas.

      "The sheriffis trying to do everything he can to get the community engaged and keeping aneye on their neighborhoods," Blanchard said.{}"Hopefully this raises their awareness and gets them looking out forpossible future crimes in their communities."

      TheBerkeley County Sheriff's Office partnered with BAIR Analytics to roll out thenew website.

      "TheBerkeley County Sheriff's Office's participation in RAIDS On-Line highlightstheir commitment to proactive communication with the public they serve," saidSean Bair, founder of BAIR Analytics. "We're excited to partner with theSheriff's Office to provide this free service for their public."{}

      Theinformation being recorded by the site will also help improve officer awarenessand accountability, Blanchard said, by allowing deputies to check to see whathas happened in their areas while they were off duty. {}

      TheRAIDS site also gives the Sheriff's Office a new tool to analyze crime trendsand determine how best to use its patrol and investigative resources. Officialssaid that locations listed on the site are rounded to the hundred block addresslevel to protect victim confidentiality.{}

      Anyonecan visit Berkeley County's crime mapat: http://www.raidsonline.com/?address=BerkeleyCounty,%20SC

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