The Laurens County Sheriff's Office announced on Monday an online crime map that allows citizens to see where crime is being reported throughout Laurens County. The LCSO partnered with WTH Technology, Inc. to offer this innovative technology.
"We believe it is critical for our citizens to have the ability to see where crime is occurring not just for their personal awareness, but so they can assist law enforcement in solving these issues," said Sheriff Don Reynolds. "It has been our commitment to partner with citizens and this is another step in sharing information and creating communication that will make our communities much safer."
In addition to crimes that have occurred, citizens will be able to see where registered sex offenders live throughout the county.
"This will help citizens and newcomers choose safe places to live and for their children to play," said Reynolds. "Once you click on a sex offender location, there is also a link to the State Law Enforcement Division website so that a citizen can see complete information about that registered offender."
The online map will also be used to share other important information such as road closures, detour routes, points of interest and additional information.
Citizens can register to receive email alerts when an incident report is taken and a registered sex offender registers within a chosen distance from their home. This watch radius is set by the citizen when they register for alerts.
"How better to keep citizens informed than for them to receive an email each morning of any event that occurred within their defined area," said Reynolds. "Since information is power, this is the power of the partnership between citizens and the LCSO at your fingertips."
To register, citizens can go to the online map, click "main menu," then click on the link that says "subscribe to receive email alerts."
"The Laurens County Sheriff's Office has been a great partner," said Rex Jones, President and CEO of WTH Technology, Inc. "We are pleased to work with Sheriff Reynolds to bring this exciting new technology back to the great people of Laurens County."
WTH, a provider of technology solutions for local communities for over two decades, is based in Indianapolis. They provide 911 mapping, crime mapping, land management mapping, utility mapping and GIS consulting services to clients in over half of South Carolina's counties. WTH currently has more than 1,400 customers in 14 states.
Jones said that WTH believes this is another example of the WTH purpose and mission which is to empower local communities. Jones mentioned that Laurens County will be the tenth in SC to unveil this new technology.
Reynolds emphasized that no names are mentioned on the incident reports and the addresses are listed by block number to protect the privacy of citizens who file or are a party to an incident report. Only LCSO incident reports are available on the map.
"The power of public safety is realized when law enforcement and residents work together to make each community safer," said Reynolds. "We believe that this technology will make us safer and more effective because citizens will now be armed with the information they need t be additional eyes and ears in the community to help solve these crimes and issues. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere, but when people join forces with law enforcement, everything changes."
The LCSO launched a similar technology in 2013.
The online map can be accessed at http://laurenssc.wthgis.com.