Kaler Hazen, Staff Writer

The Miami University Police Department (MUPD) is now a member of a website called CrimeReports, which allows users to view recent crimes on a map of the Oxford, Ohio area.

Students and faculty can go to www.crimereports.com and type in ‘Miami University Oxford Campus’ in the search bar on the top left corner of the screen to view the map of Miami’s campus and other outlying streets.

MUPD has always shared text-only messages of crime alerts in the Oxford area, but the map feature on CrimeReports allows students and faculty to be more aware of what’s going on around them and areas of campus that could be unsafe at certain times.

According to Claire Wagner, associate director of university communications, the site will serve as another source of information for students and staff, and open up opportunities to be more aware of personal safety.

CrimeReports can be used in addition to a service distributed to student email accounts known as Campus Crime Alerts that tell readers where a crime took place, a general description of suspects involved and what exactly happened should the crime be unresolved and the persons suspected of committing it missing.

“We always hope for students to be aware of their surroundings and personal safety, this is just another tool for them to be aware of what’s happening in their area,” Wagner said.

Upon arrival to the website, student users see an image of Topeka, Kansas, and from there can type in any location and corresponding crime readout that they want to view.

When students are searching for the Oxford campus area, it is important to type ‘Miami University Oxford Campus’ into the search bar.

If all of these keywords aren’t typed out, the map may display the Miami University airport or the Miami University campus in Hamilton. The website displays all kinds of criminal offenses, including the presence of sex offenders in some areas.

According to MUPD Lt. Ben Spilman, the program will be beneficial not only for those who reside on or near campus, but also for concerned parents and those visiting the area.

Spilman also said the cost for maintaining the program is minimal at less than $1.50 per day.

Crimes that are filed with the MUPD are automatically sent to the CrimeReports.com database.

“It’s another way that we can share information with the community,” Spilman said.

Sophomore Ian Free said, “CrimeReports lets students get a better idea of what’s going on around campus and allows them to stay in safe areas at the right times.”