MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile County Sheriff's Office unveiled a new crime fighting tool that will show you where crime is happening.
It's an interactive crime map called 'My Neighborhood,' and it will be updated in real time.
For years, if you wanted real time crime information, you had to follow your ears and listen to a police scanner. Now, officials said it's right at your fingertips in Mobile County.
"Getting the neighborhood involved in the long run curbs crime," Mobile County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Joe Mahoney.
When calls come in to the 911 center, officials said it's placed on the website within minutes.
Sgt. Mahoney said, "It gives [the public] a better idea of what's truly going on around them. And that's what we want--people to take those extra precautions as necessary."
You can access this map on any device to see the crime happening in the area. According to authorities, starting next month you can get alerts on your phone about crime happening in your neighborhood, for a fee.
Sgt. Mahoney said, "You'll be able to give them your address or up to a certain number of addresses and if anything takes place at that address or within a radius of that address, you can be alerted."
Mobile Police Chief Micheal T. Williams said, "I believe that a program like this empowers our community."
Chief Williams said he likes the program, but he's not on board just yet.
Williams said, "Sometimes the individual callers, the assessment of that call is really not accurate."
Williams said some callers don't report crime properly or the calls are fake. Last year, police said they responded to 8,000 calls that turned out to be false alarms.
"I expressed one concern; and that concern was this- that accurate data be the finished product," said Williams.
Williams and the sheriff's office agree crime mapping is a valuable tool that can help the community and crime fighters at the same time.
The police chief said Mobile police are working on their own crime mapping tool to cover their jurisdiction, and it's likely it will be very similar to ‘My Neighborhood'.
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