In the city's latest efforts to fight crime and modernize the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy program, three districts are turning to Twitter.
Members of the community can now tweet or text anonymous crime tips, videos and photos to police, while officers will use Twitter to disseminate missing persons alerts, crime updates and other real-time alerts, according to the Associated Press.
Fox Chicago reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to announce the new changes to community policing program Monday, though the accounts are already up and running:
We’re excited to connect with residents in a new way as part of the CPD Twitter pilot program. Follow us for District 7 updates!
— ChicagoCAPS07 (@ChicagoCAPS07) July 8, 2013
The pilot program is starting with three CAPS districts around the city:
- District 7 in Enlgewood: @ChicagoCAPS07
- District 11 on the West Side: @ChicagoCAPS11
- District 18 in River North and Gold Coast: @ChicagoCAPS18
Community members who aren't on Twitter can still send tips to police by notifying the 911 dispatcher who can send alerts to a tipster's phone enabling the caller to reply with a photo. NBC Chicago reports residents can also text anonymous tips to 274637 (CRIMES) using "CPD" in the message.
After a staggeringly violent holiday weekend in which 12 people were killed and dozens more injured, police say tips from witnesses led to an arrest in the shooting incident that injured two adults and a 5-year-old boy.
Additionally, the Chicago Police Department's website is getting a more user-friendly upgrade, according to ABC Chicago. Changes to Chicagopolice.org will be announced Monday.