New app helps Raleigh pedestrians dodge high-crime areas

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Crime Dodge is a free app that helps Raleigh pedestrians avoid areas where crimes occur. (WTVD)

A Wake Forest University student is developing a free app that helps Raleigh pedestrians avoid areas where crimes occur.

Casey Schuck first got the idea after ending up on the wrong side of town.

"I was walking in Dallas a summer ago along the streets, and I didn't know my way around very well, and I was alone, and I stumbled into an area where I personally felt a little uncomfortable," said Schuck.

Crime Dodge gathers public data from the Raleigh Police Department and maps the descriptions, dates and locations where crimes ranging from assaults to homicides are prevalent. Users can choose their routes based on the information.

"It was pretty stunning to me how many assaults and robberies there were across the city, and this is only reported crime," said Schuck.

"I walk all around downtown, and I never feel unsafe," said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane.

McFarlane touts the city as generally safe, but with more than 12,000 daily visitors to Fayetteville Street and 5,000 residents now living in downtown Raleigh, she admits there are more opportunities for criminals.

"We are growing and getting larger, and we're going to start to experience some of those growing pains and some of those larger city problems," said McFarlane.

Schuck hopes his app will help visitors and residents dodge those problem spots while curbing crime.

"No city is free of crime," said Schuck. "Raleigh might not be as dangerous as a Chicago or Los Angeles or even a Seattle, but any city can lower its crime rate."

Crime Dodge will be available for download in November. A portion of the ad proceeds will go to a charity benefiting crime victims.

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