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New App Tracks Neighborhood Crime

DENVER (CBS4) - A new app called Alert ID allows users to see where and what type of crimes happen in their neighborhood, all with the click of a button.

Various symbols pop up on a map of your neighborhood which indicate the different crimes that have happened in the area. You can spot crimes like burglary or track where convicted sex offenders live. Alert ID shows the names and photos of criminals, too.

The app also allows you to communicate and interact with neighbors to raise awareness about nearby crimes. Alert ID works with Homeland Security, The Department of Justice and the National Crime Prevention Council.

Emily Ragan, a mother of two, just moved to the city from the suburbs. She is keeping tabs on where crimes happen in her new Denver neighborhood.

"Safety first and foremost for two teenage daughters," Ragan explained.

She learned that the bad guys were much closer than she thought.

"Three miles away," she said looking at where one sex offender is registered.

The app allows you to report crime you see as well.

"You can report suspicious activity right there. I can also upload my daughter's pictures in case they went missing and it would go to authorities," explained Ragan.

CBS4's Britt Moreno talks with a mother of two about a new crime tracking app. (Credit: CBS)

The app is part of a growing cyber trend.

"The ambient awareness of our devices is always on, always collecting information about us," says Andrew Matranga, a tech expert from the University of Denver. "Apps like Alert ID plug into larger partnerships to create public safety alerts."

The app is easy to download on your smartphones or tablets, and it is free.

"It's a great app, I love it, I would encourage all parents to use it and know what's going on your neighborhoods," explains Ragan.

It works with various police agencies across the nation, but it does not yet work with the Denver Police Department.

--Written for by Intern Anna Auld

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