Stone County To Get High Tech Community Policing System

It's called the Reverse 911 system, and it will telephone via computer people living in an area where something has happened.

"If we have some break-ins going on in a certain community, we can make that notification right away, immediately alert the homeowners in that area to let them know what's going on," Sheriff Mike Ballard said.

Ballard says he thinks the new high-tech community policing will help residents help law enforcment.

"They look at it as a way we can keep them better informed especially in a timely manner when it concerns something that's happened in their area."

In Harrison County, a similar system has been on line for two years. Like Stone County's, it is also available to all public safety agencies. Harrison County deputies have relied on the recorded messages to get the word out about jail breaks, and to get help in finding alzheimer's patients and missing children.

"The advantage of it is you have a lot more eyes out there, say like the four year old that was missing in D'Iberville," Deputy Walter Pitts said. "You have a lot of people who will go outside and start looking, and they could've seen the child or seen the person or whatever it is."

Sheriff Ballard says saving time is another big advantage the technology offers. Rather than officers having to go door to door with messages, the computer can do it for them.

Non-published numbers are not included in the list of businesses and residences.  Sheriff Ballard says if you have a non-published number and want to participate in Reverse 911, you can sign up at the sheriff's department.