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New McGruff app tracks crime, sex offenders

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – People of a certain generation likely remember McGruff the Crime Dog.

First appearing in 1980, he’s helped build crime awareness through a series of commercials and cartoons.

Now he’s back with a new, high-tech makeover, with the same, “Help us take a bite out of crime,” message

By entering your address, the McGruff Mobile smartphone app shows all the sex offenders in your area. Its geared towards college kids, and students at Butler University were left shocked by how many offenders were near campus.

“I didn’t know there were this many people this close that were sex offenders,” said freshman Isaak Newhouse. “Its surprising.”

The app is a collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council and AlertID.

“With college campus kids, they’re just trying to get to school and they may not be aware of the dangers that are in their neighborhood,” said Keli Wilson, the founder of AlertID and the creator of the app.

The app also show’s recent crimes in the area, and offers links to local news reports.

“I mean obviously all of us are on our phones 24/7, so yeah, I do think it could be helpful,” said freshman Mac Carrier.

“Butler is a really safe campus,” said freshman Sarah Ellis. “But it’s Indianapolis and it’s a big city, so you just never know who’s around.”

The app also allows residents to report suspicious activity, and gives alerts to crimes.

“The more information you can put out there, the better, because then people are alert as to what’s going on,” said Bill Weber, Assistant Police Chief of Operations at Butler University.

The app also links to law enforcement. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said new technologies are helping people stay safe and informed.