NORCROSS -- Crime-tracking has hit the cyberworld in Norcross.
The Norcross Police Department went live Monday on www.crimereports.com, a Web site that allows anyone to access real-time crime reports across the city. Users can search any address they wish to see an instant, easy-to-read mapping of crimes within a certain distance from that area.
The goal, Norcross Chief of Police Dallas Tidd said, is to have residents use the knowledge found on the site to be more vigilant in self-policing their neighborhoods, then be more willing to report suspicious activities to authorities.
"If you are aware that there have been burglaries in your neighborhood, then when you see a vehicle that doesn't belong to a neighbor, and something about it makes you suspicious, you're more inclined to call the police," Tidd said.
"We want to know if something makes you uneasy or seems out of place. We'd much rather answer a call that turns out to be nothing than have a citizen harmed and then later find out a neighbor saw or heard something suspicious."
Users can sort by date, type of crime or distance from the chosen location. Entries are added to the Web site as soon as the police report is filed, Norcross Police spokeswoman Tixie Fowler said.
Each entry includes details about the date of the crime, the location, the distance from the address entered, the time it occurred and the arresting agency. Users can also choose to have registered sex offenders shown in their search.
Lawrenceville is the only other city in Gwinnett County officially listed on the site.
Fowler said Norcross' decision to join was a no-brainer, and a quick one.
"We tend to move pretty quickly," she said. "They took a week to test it out and make sure it was doing what they hoped it would do and chief was satisfied, and then they went live."
Those interested can also get a free iPhone application (CrimeReports) or sign up for e-mailed reports.