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New tool maps crimes

Brewton residents now have a new way to track crimes in their neighborhoods.

The Brewton Police Department is becoming one of a handful of communities across the state to join a Web-based database that will detail crime and incident reports as well as the locations of registered sex offenders.

“This is software anyone can access,” Brewton officer Travis Minchew said. “If a theft happens at a certain address, or if there are property crimes, anything we do is on there.”

Police Chief Monte McGougin said he hopes the web site — located at crimereports.com — will become a tool residents use regularly to track incidents in their neighborhoods and throughout the community.

“This is a good public relations tool for us,” he said.

Anyone can log onto the Web site at crimereports.com and input their address or the city’s name to view the types of incidents that have happened in Brewton.

The site displays a map of the neighborhood or community selected, along with symbols for different crimes or incidents, as well as the names of registered sex offenders.

The site will be updated regularly, McGougin said, because the Web site is tapped into the city’s own police report database.

Minchew said users can also send in crime tips and can set up alerts for incidents that happen in their neighborhoods.

“Residents can help us resolve crimes,” McGougin said.

Becoming a registered user on the site is free but allows users a few more privileges.

“They can also invite other houses to join their neighborhood,” Minchew said. “That way, if a crime happens, we can contact the neighborhood through the site.”

McGougin said he does not have any security concerns about the site, because incidents will not give a specific address — only blocks — and officers will not be identified by name.

Minchew said any and all incidents will be displayed on the site.

“Even if we just unlock someone’s door, it will be on there,” he said.