It's been a year in the making but the Flathead County Sheriff's Office Crime Mapping program is now up and running.

"We wanted a way to get information to the public on crimes that are occurring in our community," said Deputy Sheriff Travis Bruyer. "We wanted to find a way that we can impact them with a visual mapping system."

It uses information from the Sheriff's Office logs to mark an interactive map detailing when and what type of crime occurred, usually within 24 hours of an incident.

"If you can see patters that are occurring in your own cities as far as where crimes are happening it is possible that you can start deploying law enforcement into your communities early on," said Bruyer.

Officials say Crime Mapping is a great way to connect residents to the Sheriff's Department and keep them in the know about what's going on in their neck of the woods.

"People want technology and people want information faster," explained Bruyer. "We're visual learners and this crime map is just a great way to log on and say 'Hey, I want to know what happened in my valley.' This is a great way to visualize and look at it."

Residents can also sign up for email alerts and download a mobile phone app, so they can have access to the latest information.

"We still want people to see it, hear it, report it kind of mentality. You can still log on to the sheriff's department and notify us of crimes right away," said Bruyer.

The future of crime stopping in the Flathead knows no bounds and the Sheriff's Office says this will help to provide up to the minute information when folks need it most.