Georgetown police use new technology to track rising crime

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE News and Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 10:32 PM

GEORGETOWN, Texas -- Thanks to new technology, Georgetown police can track what crimes are happening and where.

Police say they're seeing a significant increase in car burglaries. They had only six reports in June, but in July that number jumped to 34.

In Georgetown many people say, in general, crime isn't a problem.

"This is a pretty quiet neighborhood for the most part," said Georgetown resident Reece Andrade.

"Really nice neighbors, they say the neighborhood is pretty good," said Guy Henderson, who moved to the city in January.

Police say as the city grows, so does crime.

"With the influx of more people coming to the area, we notice there are certain criminal activities and calls for service that are increasing," said Police Captain Roland Waits.

Specifically, Captain Waits says car burglaries are on the rise.

"It's probably within our top three calls for service right now," he explained.

Waits says the department's goal over the next five years is to reduce them by 20 percent, so the department is implementing a computer program called Command Central. It allows them to track crimes in almost real time.

"People are getting hit pretty frequently," Waits said, showing an area marked in red in the program.

The software also allows police to see where crimes are happening. They say the area near Williams Drive on the northwest part of town is a hot spot for car burglaries.

"That way supervisors can actually deploy their personnel into these little hot zones where we're having criminal activity," Waits said.

"A friend of mine had his truck broken into. They stole a very expensive camera," Andrade said.

Andrade says since then, he's noticed more police patrolling the neighborhood

"I'm glad they're here. Hopefully they'll keep that bad element away from us," he said.

Still, officers want to remind citizens to do their part. Waits says in most cases these are crimes of opportunity and are easily preventable.

"If you leave your car unlocked, leave a window down, they're going to take advantage of it," he explained.

The technology is also available to any Georgetown resident. Just sign up for an account, and you can monitor crime in your area and even sign up for alerts.

Austin police have a similar system for people to search for reported crimes. Austin citizens can view and filter crime data in the area using this interactive map. Click here for more information.

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