Posts Tagged ‘community policing’

We’re excited about the comprehensive and thorough article about the Interactive Defense System that PoliceOne.com posted yesterday afternoon. It may be the most important recognition that IDS has received to date — on a website for law-enforcement officers nationwide and published in the middle of a conference on the role of social media in policing. When I last checked, 104 PoliceOne readers had recommended the story on Facebook and at least 20 people had “retweeted” a link to it that PoliceOne posted on Twitter.

A summary paragraph:

IDS is a social network designed specifically for law enforcement, meaning it’s equipped with crime-solving tools as well as privacy and security measures you won’t find on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or YouTube. Its sole purpose is to make communities safer by bridging the gap between departments and civilians.

It goes on to give a great overview of the platform’s development, its features, and how police agencies use it. It includes a video from one of the three segments that appeared on local news channels in the Atlanta area after Dunwoody launched IDS.

The IDS article appears in a package of stories that writer Justin Cox and PoliceOne editors put together for publication during the SMILE (Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement) Conference, which began Monday and runs through today in Santa Monica, California. The stories are individually linked from PoliceOne’s topic pages for social media and community policing.

screen shot of article

PoliceOne strikes me as an impressively thorough online resource. Social media and community policing are among more than 60 categories on the site. Others include border patrol, corrections (prison) and gangs. The site also has a running feed of police-related news on a range of topics including officer shootings, big arrests, and leadership changes at big-city police departments.

A big thank-you to Justin Cox and PoliceOne.com and a big salute to the police chiefs in Dunwoody, Clarkston, Santa Monica and others who are keeping with the times and using new technology to promote public safety openly and efficiently.

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The Dunwoody Police Department is drawing more and more attention and praise for its use of social media, including its recent adoption of the Interactive Defense System.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is spotlighting Dunwoody on a section of the IACP website dedicated to social media. The DeKalb Champion newspaper also highlighted Dunwoody’s use of social media this week.

As detailed by the IACP and the Champion, Dunwoody PD began using Twitter in early 2009, when it was rare for law-enforcement agencies to do so. Even by September 2010, only about 24 percent of departments were using Twitter, according my quick calculations using numbers from an IACP survey. DPD also appears to have been ahead of the curve in using Facebook (used by 54 percent of departments surveyed in September 2010) and YouTube (14 percent).

Dunwoody adopted Interactive Defense a few weeks after the platform’s launch this summer. Within just a couple of months, officers credited IDS with helping  to bring in two suspected criminals.  The IACP found that social media had helped solve crimes in about 45 percent of the jurisdictions it surveyed. We expect that number to be higher in next year’s survey as more law enforcement agencies begin using Interactive Defense.

On that note, we at F3 Technologies and Interactive Defense, LLC, would like to wish you all a happy and safe new year. We also wish you a crime-free 2011 look forward to helping you and your city in that regard!

Dunwoody Police tell us that the Interactive Defense System has helped them locate and arrest two fugitives who are suspects in recent crimes.

More than 1,300 households, roughly 10 percent of Dunwoody’s total, have registered themselves as users on IDS since the department launched it in early October. Two suspects were taken into custody after their pictures appeared on the system and in local television news reports about the department’s use of IDS.

An Atlanta-area woman suspected of counterfeiting surrendered to authorities last week after an acquaintance saw her picture and a “wanted” notice on Dunwoody’s IDS network.

Separately, a 20-year-old male fugitive turned himself in after a local television news station showed an image of him as it appeared on IDS. Authorities had issued arrest warrants for the man in connection with two burglaries.

“These two cases are clear evidence of Interactive Defense’s power to help citizens and city agencies work together in a successful fight against crime,” said Paul Campbell, chief operating officer for F3 Technologies, Inc., which co-owns Interactive Defense, LLC, in a joint venture with Noble Heroes, Inc. “Real-life incidents like these demonstrate the system’s capabilities for the numerous other public-safety agencies now seeking to harness the power of social networks.”

IDS helps Dunwoody police officers to stay in closer contact with local residents and businesses. It allows police to give community residents immediate notification of missing children and criminal suspects who pose a threat. It allows users to share crime tips more directly with officers and with each other, request officer assistance, notify officers when their homes will be vacant due to moves or vacation, and register vehicles and other valuables for easier identification in the event of theft.

“Interactive Defense is part of our strategy to fight crime on all fronts,” Dunwoody Police Officer William Furman said. “It’s crucial to our goal of keeping citizens involved in community policing, and they love it.”

IDS is a specialized version of F3’s Interaction Community Systems networking solution for homeowners associations and other member groups. One IDS module, the Safety Center, is for both officers and residents. A second, HeroSpace, is for officers and other municipal employees.

In the Safety Center, a feature unique to IDS, police and residents can trade up-to-the-minute information on important safety issues. Another feature, HeroSpace, is a professional network for firefighters, police officers and other municipal employees that helps improve departmental efficiency, improve collaboration with residents, and limit environmental impact by reducing the need for paper documents.

Furman said officers from a much larger metro-Atlanta law-enforcement agency recently contacted Dunwoody to explore the possibility of adopting IDS.

“Other law-enforcement agencies are considering Interactive Defense for the same reasons that led Dunwoody Police to adopt it,” Campbell said. “They want to engage citizens by providing a more personal experience, for example by communicating directly and immediately with citizens in targeted areas, by giving access to officers’ background information, by allowing citizens to communicate directly with specific officers. They want to improve residents’ confidence in police service. And they want to provide their officers with a professional networking solution.”