Electronic kiosks to be placed in Marion County malls to help fight crime

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. —

Wanted posters, sex offender fliers, Facebook and Twitter are ways to alert residents about crime, but Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair said he has a better idea: an electronic kiosk at the mall.

Sandra Avilez said she wants to know who is breaking the law in Marion County.

"As a mother, I'm scared to have my kids even leave the front yard without me seeing where they are.  You don't even know who is out there anymore," said Avilez.

But now, she can find out just by going to the mall.  The new sheriff's office kiosk placed in the middle of Ocala's Paddock Mall features the county's most wanted criminals.

The TV screens will also flash Amber Alerts and notify residents every time a registered sex offender moves into town.

"For example, if we have a bank robbery we can put that robber's photo to these pieces of equipment with a couple of key strokes to a hundred kiosks that quick throughout the community and people will know who we're looking for," said Blair.

Blair said the department will spend $300,000 to equip the kiosks, and he will put them in busy places where there is a lot of foot traffic, and all across the county.

"I think all the technology is wonderful because people are more into it these days.  It's helpful because it really draws people in now," Blair said.

The sheriff said all 100 kiosks should be up and running in three months.