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RAIDS website launched in Iowa

BY ALYSSA GUZMAN | SEPTEMBER 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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With Iowa City police being the first department in the state to adopt a new police technology, other police forces are eager to jump on board.

The Iowa City police began using RAIDS Online Sept. 2, becoming the first law-enforcement agency in the state to begin sharing crime data with the program.

RAIDS Online is a free public crime map provided by BAIR Analytics; it is supplied directly by the Iowa City police and the crime information they receive.

“It’s another way to share information with what we do and what goes on in the neighborhood,” Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said. “People can independently see what’s going on in the neighborhood.”

Jake Bockhorst of BAIR wrote in an email that while the Iowa City police were the first in the state to collaborate, RAIDS is used by 450 law-enforcement agencies in 47 states.

“The development directly affects the citizens of Iowa City and surrounding areas,” Bockhorst said in the email statement.

According to the RAIDS website, the goal of the new technology is to effectively map crime in specific areas so that inhibitants of the area can make informed decisions on how to avoid danger.

Gaarde said this information has always been available to people, but now it is more easily accessible.

RAIDS allows users to sign up for email alerts of crime occurring around a specific address, to give anonymous crime tips, and to search for specific crimes.

The website is also available through a free mobile app, making it as accessible to users as possible.

Coralville Police Chief Barry Bedford said he thinks RAIDS Online is a “great” program, and Coralville has been awaiting the program’s arrival.

Bedford’s hopes are that after some testing, the program will be available to Coralville.

“[It’s] good information to have for the public so they know what’s going on and where,” Bedford said.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said he believes RAIDS looks “very similar, if not identical, to the product that they use there at Cedar Rapids.”

He said the program is an advantage for the area.

“RAIDS Online is another example of how technology is pushing forward police departments in the community using real-time data,” Jerman said.


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