LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - There are ways for you to take control of your safety against crimes in your neighborhoods, tools that are free for anyone to use. A website called crimereports.com is a free tool where you can see what crimes are happening around your home, and how often they happen.
"Knowledge is power and the more you know the safer you can be," said Kitty Campbell, who has lived in West Lafayette for 30 years.
"Overall in this community I feel very safe," she said. "When I was a dog owner I used to walk the streets a lot taking my pets out and even now without a dog without a dog I feel very safe."
But for those who want to monitor crime in the area, there are ways that you can monitor those trends. On crimereports.com, you can click the "explore the map" feature and zoom in on any city or town in the world. You can also search an address or location, however there is only data for departments who share information with the site. Lafayette Police Department is one of those departments.
"There's no substitution for personal accountability," said Sgt. Mike Brown with LPD.
He encourages everyone to take their safety into their own hands.
"If you are concerned or interested about crime trends in your community, either your neighborhood, your part of the city, or the city in general, there are tools out there that allow you to research that for yourself," he said.
The website also allows for transparency between the local police department and the community, something Sgt. Brown said is important to LPD.
"Transparency is paramount," he said. "We rely so much on the community to help us police their community."
Having data on what types of crimes happen where, helps our officers. Some areas see more car accidents than others because they are high-traffic areas. Other areas see more cases of robbery or theft than other because they are more residential or retail. He said this data helps them tailor what officers need to focus on, and he said they have success using numbers.
"Every time we focus on a particular crime trend and use data driven policing it's effective in lowering that type of crime," he said.
While you can take steps to keep an eye on safety from the internet, you should also always be aware of your personal surroundings.
"People need to stay vigilant," said Campbell. "Don't put yourself in silly situations that could be dangerous."
"Take a close look around you, pay attention to your surroundings and that will prevent a lot of problems," said Sgt. Brown.
*note: crimereports.com does not open in Google Chrome. It will open in Internet Explorer.