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City Connect, Enhancing Communication Between Law Enforcement and Citizens

November 25, 2014 , , , ,

City Connect

City Connect

I just learned about an app called City Connect that creates two way communication between citizens and cities.  Our neighbors have been using Nextdoor, an app which connects neighbors for private secure communication.  Our police department in Tucson joined Nextdoor in September, and has been using it to update the public on crime and safety issues.  Nextdoor keeps private the neighbors’ interaction unless it is in response to an officer’s post.  This system is excellent for building community and better communication between neighbors.  It allows the police to give us vital information if an emergency should occur, and update us about crime trends and how to avoid being victims of those trends.

Nextdoor discussions range from yard sales to lost turkeys.  I think our greatest achievement to date was the safe return of Lurkey the Turkey who escaped from his own yard, was spotted running up the street, captured, and lived to tell the story.  Lurkey would have been a goner in this hood full of coyotes if neighborhood spirit had not saved his feathered tail to gobble another day.  We have more members all the time, and the ability to communicate does enhance our safety and quality of life.  I look forward to the growth and strengthening of Nextdoor in Tucson. We have just begun to use this fun and powerful digital tool.

We learned through an officer’s post on Nextdoor that City Connect offers a full menu of information about the TPD, everything you ever wanted to know. The one stop shop for information about the police and what they are doing includes:

  • The twitter feed is active with traffic and crime data as well as department news
  • The Facebook page has frequent updates and requests for information on specific incidents.
  • They have a Youtube channel in the menu with some instructional videos and some surveillance threads.
  • The best and most revolutionary, in my opinion, is the  highly simplified format to either submit a tip, which you can track by password, or report a problem by e mail.  Many crimes or suspicious activities go unreported because it is not convenient and people don’t want to interact with cops.  This app allows photo evidence submission and your choice of contact methods, right on the phone.  It is clear that city law enforcement in my city and across the nation can use some positive innovation and transparent communication.
  • The crime reports map shows details on reported crimes in your area as well as sex offenders living nearby.  Using the GPS you can see the exact distance from your home and the kind of offense.  We are big this week on assaults, but also have some reported theft.  This very nifty interactive map allows you to create a digital alert in real time or report information you my have pertaining to a specific reported incident (or sex offender). This feature makes it super easy to track what is happening close to your home, and possibly contribute to solving active cases.

Your city has to be a participant and have loaded up their profiles, etc. for you to be able to use this system.  I am very pleased that our police department has taken this step to make communication smoother and easier. I think it will grow in popularity because it aggregates information in one place, and makes participation quick and painless. The same company has created another app called Citizens Connect, to enhance communication about civic matters.  That sounds good too.  Do any of the gentle readers have experience with either one of these apps?  I think they are brilliant.

Citizens Connect

Citizens Connect

What do you think?

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comments

Those sound like terrific apps. I will definitely check out Nextdoor since we know at most 3 people (barely) in our neighborhood
CityConnect sounds amazing to get all that information..

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

November 30, 2014

1 notes

  1. Codepending with the Cops | mermaidcamp reblogged this and added:

    […] by itself.  I do report and send in pictures of suspicious activity and crime I see on a phone app.  This is a way for me to contribute to better law enforcement without wasting my own time.  I […]

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