Delhi Township fights crime with web services

DELHI TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Delhi Township is using two Internet services to fight crime. One program, called Citizen Observer, sends out email alerts. The other program, RAIDS Online, maps out areas where the crimes are being committed.

"The response is overwhelming. I've heard nothing negative about it," said Delhi Township police chief Jim Howarth. "(Citizens) absolutely love it. They're part of the community and we can't do it by ourselves.

"I would like very resident in the township to access to it. What we could do if everybody had it," said Howarth.

Since Delhi Township offered the service in mid-January, more than 800 residents have signed up to receive the crime alerts.

"So that's over 1,600 eyes out there watching for things, helping us identify people," said Howarth.

The service costs Delhi Township $2,400 a year for a subscription.

"It's free to the citizens, obviously. We pay for it through out tax dollars but there's nothing holding you back," said Delhi Township resident and subscriber, Dave Schafer. "You receive emails about information that's happening in your neighborhood."

Chief Howarth said he sent a robbery alert recently and within five minutes he had a tip that led to an arrest.

"I mean, you know, you can't get much better than that," said Howarth. "I would be scared of it if I was a criminal."

Residents interested in becoming a "Citizen Observer" can follow this link.

If you want to receive crime reports and view crime maps, you can click here.

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