Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando crime watch is a click away

Donna Wood of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office unveils an interactive crime-mapping program, one of a few in the nation.


Donna Wood of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office unveils an interactive crime-mapping program, one of a few in the nation.

BROOKSVILLE — With only a computer and a good Internet connection, a month's worth of crime data from Hernando County will be at the fingertips of anyone interested enough to check it out.

Think of it as an interactive online version of a neighborhood watch.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office announced Monday the launch of a new crime-mapping program, said to be the first of its kind in Florida and one of just a few in use elsewhere around the country.

The mapping technology uses Google Maps and other geographic software to enhance the viewing of reported crime in unincorporated areas of Hernando.

"Anyone with a computer can utilize this technology," said Sgt. Donna Black, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office.

The crime data can be accessed through the Sheriff's Office Web site at, where a link to the mapping site can be found. The site has the ability to show reported crime — with the exception of some privacy-sensitive incidents such as child abuse and sexual assault cases — from the past 30 days.

Money for the $250-a-month program fee will come from drug money seized by the Sheriff's Office, known as Federal Forfeiture Funds.

"The money will not come from the taxpayers," Sheriff Richard Nugent said. "In essence, the criminals will be paying to catch criminals."

The Hernando Sheriff's Office joins police departments in Oakland, Calif., Lincoln, Neb., Duluth, Minn., and High Point, N.C., in using the program.

Lee Hunt, a crime analyst with the High Point Police Department, said the site has made it easier for residents to police their own neighborhoods, among other positive developments. "It was been very, very successful." Hunt said the agency has been using the program for about two years. "We average well over 1,000 individual queries a day" on the Web site.

For now, the Sheriff's Office crime-mapping site will generally not include reported crimes within the city limits of Brooksville — the Hernando County seat — because the city's Police Department has its own record-keeping system. Brooksville police Chief George Turner said his department was already working on plans to roll out a revamped Web site in the coming months.

"We want to make it more user-friendly for the public," Turner said.

But Turner, who logged onto the Sheriff Office's new site for the first time Monday, said he was particularly impressed with the program.

"This looks like a great program … I'm all for it," Turner said. "But their record management system and mine are not compatible at the moment and I don't have any intention of changing that. Our system serves us very well right now."

Joel Anderson can be reached at or 754-6120.

Hernando crime watch is a click away 07/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2008 6:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PolitiFact Florida: Claim that 5.7 million noncitizens voted is wrong

    State Roundup

    President Donald Trump's unfounded allegations that millions voted illegally in 2016 is back in the news, with his supporters pointing to a new analysis that claims millions of undocumented immigrants voted in 2008.

    Instances of noncitizens voting have been reported, but evidence points to a small number among millions of votes cast.  
  2. For Fourth of July, an American feast inspired by founding father Alexander Hamilton


    Are there a million things you haven't done? Is one of them throwing a patriotic party inspired by one of the founding fathers?

    Caribbean Pork With Potato Salad makes for the perfect Fourth of July meal.
  3. 'Baby Driver' literally turns heist movie genre on its ear, set to slick soundtrack


    Buckle up for Baby Driver, a movie so full throttle cool that you want to fist bump the screen. Style is the substance of Edgar Wright's inventive heist flick, a fresh, masterful synching of music and getaway mayhem, as if La La Land's traffic jam was moving, armed and dangerous.

    Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for heist arranger Doc (Kevin Spacey). Plagued by tinnitus, Baby tunes out his distracting “hum in the drum” by listening to music while he drives.
Sony Pictures
  4. Former mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor
  5. Life after HB7069 to be discussed at Pinellas school district workshop


    The Pinellas County school district is still trying to navigate life after the controversial passage of HB7069.