SCHERTZ, Texas – Residents in Schertz can now track crime in their neighborhoods with the tap of a finger.
The Schertz Police Department just rolled out a new crime tracker function on its website that updates every 24 hours.
"We do have a lot of people that will request crime stats from their area, and this is kind of an easier way of directing them to that, versus coming in here and filling out paperwork and then having to pull the stats specifically," Officer Helen Lafitte said.
She said the convenient new crime map attached to the police website will free up staff members for other tasks. Even more important, it keeps the community informed, she said.
"We get a lot of our information from social media, and sometimes it's not necessarily accurate, so this gives them the opportunity to go in there and see what's going on," Lafitte said.
Under the "Police Statistics" tab on the website is the "Community Crime Map" tab. In the interactive map, users can enter a date range, location and which types of crimes they want to see.
"So this was an assault," Lafitte said, clicking an icon on the map. "It's going to give you the case number. It's going to give you the date."
A feature at the top right of the screen also allows residents to enable alerts. They can choose which crimes they're interested in tracking and notifications will be sent to their email. Lafitte said those who enable the alerts should check to make sure emails did not go to their spam folder.
Schertz and San Antonio police now use the same company's crime tracker.
David Dawson lives in San Antonio and has used the map for a while now to help his clients.
"A medical group that had seven locations, and they wanted to know within a half-mile what the crime rate was and what type of crimes," he said.
He's thrilled his father-in-law, Chuck Bolin, who lives in Schertz, can now use it, too.
"It's extremely important. This is a beautiful community," Bolin said.
Bolin said it will be nice to keep watch over a community he's lived in for almost 50 years.