Fighting Crime With Text Messages - InformationWeek

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8/19/2009
04:38 PM
Marin Perez
Marin Perez
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Fighting Crime With Text Messages

Looks like San Francisco is stepping into the 21st century, and it will be unveiling a way for concerned citizens to text crime tips to police. It's a good sign that San Francisco's finest are beginning to use technology to help them fight crime.

Looks like San Francisco is stepping into the 21st century, and it will be unveiling a way for concerned citizens to text crime tips to police. It's a good sign that San Francisco's finest are beginning to use technology to help them fight crime.One would think San Francisco's proximity to Silicon Valley would make its police force as high-tech as they come, but reports indicate it is lagging behind most other departments in technology, particularly in the use of statistics. New Chief George Gascon is taking command and promises to revamp the department to make sure it has the latest and greatest tech to take on dirtbags.

The Text-a-Tip line will enable citizens to send anonymous crimes tips into the SFPD, and the Internet-based tool lets the officers respond for more information. The program has been deployed in other departments in 40 states, and it reportedly has been useful in gang activity cases where tipsters fear reprisal.

I'm not naïve enough to think a few commuters sending police "OMG! cRimnalZ on Bus 33" will put an end to all crime in the city, but this is a signal that the SFPD can leverage the technology around them to help them do their job better. Good police work will always rely on the bravery, intelligence, and hard work of the boys in blue, and tech like this SMS program can assist in their crime-fighting mission.

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