Crime in the Rockford area is a heavy conversation we have here. Many tragedies have happened, but I still believe the 815 has a lot to be proud of. And after discovering this new app feature, I think a lot of people can benefit from using it as a tool for protection and awareness.

Being observant while you're out is rule #1 no matter where you are. Whether it's Rockford or wherever, paying attention to who's around you and what's going on can save your life.

Last night, I was on TikTok when I received an ad for the app Newsbreak. It's an app that's generally for local and national news or whatever the user has on in their settings. But the ad showed me a cool feature that I think EVERYONE should be aware of. After clicking around and messing with the feature, I was pretty shocked!

Newsbreak's Crime Map of Rockford, Illinois

When you go into the app, be sure you have your location 'on.' That's the only way to use this feature.  It's going to automatically go to the 'For You' tab, you're going to want to click the 'Crime Map' tab. It'll look like this...

Newsbreak Crime Map of Rockford
Google Maps via Newsbreak

From what I understand, the yellow dots are just locations of low-risk crimes around you (based on the location you turned on.) When you click on the map, you can select the various ranges of low to high-risk crimes to be shown. But there's one more little feature that caught my attention.

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Newsbreak's Sex Offender Map of Rockford, Illinois

They literally have a setting for you to see registered sex offenders around you based on your location. This is what it looks like and seeing this put a pit in my stomach.

Newsbreak Sex Offender Map of Rockford
Newsbreak, Google Maps

All those little black dots... yeah those are registered sex offenders. You can even click on them to get the individual's name and the specifics of their crime. I'm not going to show that, because I'd like to be safe. But yeah, it's a thing.

SEE MORE: Did You Know 4 of the World's Worst Serial Killers Were From Wisconsin?

This may be the first time I ever say this... but thank God for TikTok! Otherwise, I wouldn't have known about this at all. I'm all for bringing up people's awareness and if this can help someone out, I'm going to do it. It was an eye-opener for me about being cautious of your surroundings.

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