Dallas Police Department iWatch program fosters community partnerships
The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is leveraging technology to enhance information sharing and partnerships between community members and its officers. The iWatch Dallas program is an interactive crime watch web application that encourages action through community engagement and a “see something, say something” resident methodology, with the goal of making Dallas one of the safest large cities in America.
The program focuses on criminal behavior and criminal enterprises that could also indicate a nexus to potential terrorist activities. Program users can report criminal and suspicious activities through the program and remain anonymous. “It takes everyone in the community working together to keep Dallas safe,” said DPD Deputy Chief James Walton.
Already popular in numerous police departments and communities across the country, the iWatch program was made possible for DPD over five years, through December 2015, by financial support from Dallas’ Safer Dallas Better Dallas organization. In September 2014, Dallas Independent School District (DISD) joined DPD as a local partner, thus further enhancing iWatch Dallas’ value as a community criminal intelligence gathering tool.
Since its inception in 2010, the iWatch Dallas mobile app has been downloaded on Apple and Android mobile devices over 32,000 times and has directly resulted in 5,200 tips and 2,800 investigations. In fact, the June 13, 2015 attack on DPD headquarters resulted in several web tip crime notes from the iWatch Dallas program.
“iWatch is essential because it has ability to create a virtual city wide crime watch,” said Walton. “The iWatch app allows citizens to quickly and easily report information about a crime that has occurred or any on-going suspected criminal activity such as the sale of illegal drugs.”
DPD continues to expand iWatch capabilities and community reach by incorporating the iTalk feature for community alerts and notifications. For more information on the iWatch Dallas program or to download the app, visit: http://bit.ly/1JWboH5 or text a crime tip to DPD by entering “DPD plus your tip” to 274637.