CrimeWatch: Krimelabb helps Austinites - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

CrimeWatch: Krimelabb helps Austinites


Citizen involvement is an important aspect of community policing, especially now, when city money is tight.

Jack Darby is one Austinite helping the community and police after being a victim of crime, two days in a row.

"It was creepy for a couple of weeks."

"The first time, the back door was kicked in, so I fortified that. Then the next day, the front door was kicked in and once they've been in your house, they know what you have and in this case, they were back for more."

So the 60-year-old decided to start Krimelabb. A website that takes all the numbers and information the Austin Police Department puts out and translates them into easy to read data.

"What I'm realizing is that people in the neighborhoods are more concerned with property crime than any other crime even though we're fearful of the major crimes like homicide and rape but the property crime is more likely to hit us."

Austin Police Commander Troy Gay met Darby at a neighborhood meeting.

"It's very valuable. What it does is help you understand and how to look for data."

Gay says what Darby is doing helps the department.

"If you look at our dept of 1600 sworn officers and then you look at a community that is 800,000 people, we need help. We need more eyes and ears on the street."

Darby also has a Twitter page, but he says he hasn't figured out how to best utilize this social medium, yet. Meantime, Darby's example is one APD wants everyone else to notice.

Commander Gay says, "The more informed the community is, the better information they're going to provide and that's really what it's all about. Getting that information so we can solve crimes as well as putting the bad guys in jail."

Darby doesn't charge for his website or talking to groups.

"For some reason, it just became really, really, interesting to me."

He says the value is not the information itself. But rather when that information is shared with neighbors.

Follow Jenni Lee on Twitter@jennileeaustin

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