How to use the system
• Log onto www.raidsonline.com
• Enter an address as a reference point
• Scroll down to "GA – Effingham County" under "Jump to City"
• Select crime types (color-coded by severity of crime)
• Select a date range
Options are also available to receive crime alert e-mails and to make an anonymous report of a crime.
The online crime map will soon be accessible from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office website and Facebook page. A free mobile application is also available for Apple devices.
Data on crime in Effingham County and Rincon is now available at the community’s fingertips.
The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Rincon Police Department have teamed with Bair Analytics Inc., to provide an online crime map that displays and analyzes crime data, alerts county residents about crimes in their area and allows the sheriff’s office to tell the public quickly about crimes as they occur.
"I think it’s a great tool," Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said. "On the average, we’re responding to about 4,000-4,500 calls a month every month now, and people can use this to see what we’re doing. The more information we can get out to the citizens, I think the better off we are."
The program, called RAIDS Online, now provides Effingham County crime data at www.raidsonline.com. It also will be accessible soon through the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office Web site and Facebook page.
Recent crime incidents are displayed on a map or listed in a grid. Users can click on an incident for more information or display a "hot spot" map based on crimes that are currently on display.
"One of the good things I’ve already seen from it is that, when people are looking
into moving to your area as new residents, one of the calls we get most frequently is, ‘How many calls for service do you have in that area?’ We can automatically refer them to this," said interim Rincon Police Chief Phillip Scholl.
Along with storing a wide range of data and a three-year history of local crime reports, the system also posts information quickly. Any case the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office or Rincon Police Department respond to will update automatically to RAIDS within an hour.
"If something happened right now," McDuffie said, "we would dispatch it out, and an hour from now you could find it on this Web site."
Users have the option to sign up to receive daily crime alerts via e-mail. A free mobile application is also available for Apple devices.
Another feature is that members of the community can submit an anonymous tip about a crime directly to the sheriff’s office.
"That’s a good information tool for us," McDuffie said. "When you submit that tip, nobody knows where it comes from, and it comes straight into our intelligence office and we’re able to follow up on it."
The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office and Rincon Police Department are two of only five law enforcement agencies in Georgia using the RAIDS system, according to ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor. The ECSO and RPD are able to partner since they use the same dispatch center, McDuffie said.
The program’s mapping capabilities will enable the two agencies to provide better service to Effingham County residents. RAIDS Online also will be useful to local Neighborhood Watch groups.
"If we have a string of entering autos or burglaries or something, we can highlight those areas and increase patrols and intensify patrols in those areas," Scholl said. "This will be good information for homeowners associations to show to their residents and say, ‘This is why we need a Neighborhood Watch program.’"
To top it off, McDuffie said, the program is free of charge — to the sheriff’s office, the Rincon Police Department and anyone in the community who uses it.
"We have tried for years to find some type of analytical program that had this data in it, but every one of them cost a tremendous amount of money," McDuffie said. "So, being able to get something like this — this year, especially the way budgets are — to us is just a great thing."