Also Unveil the Newly Designed BPDNews.com
Today Mayor Thomas Menino and Police Commissioner Edward Davis announced new technology being implemented by the Boston Police Department to increase public safety and enhance quality of life for city residents.
Today’s announcement includes the launch of the Real Time Crime Center, a newly created division within the Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis that is responsible for monitoring ongoing police incidents and events and providing relevant information and data to field units in a “real time” manner. This initiative combines many of the Boston Police Department’s advanced technologies and brings them together working collaboratively in a highly efficient and innovative way.
In addition, the new and improved BPD virtual Community located at BPDNews.com is intended to provide an important connection to the community offering a ‘one stop shopping’ resource for public safety news and community alert information. The site will be consistently updated with new and exciting information that captures the City’s commitment to public safety and improving quality of life in our neighborhoods.
The new site includes an informative blog among numerous other features. Crime statistics for every district posted on a weekly basis is also available. This is also the location for crime trend stories, significant arrest, ‘Most Wanted’ individuals and updated on ongoing investigations.
Mayor Menino stated, \”The Real Time Crime Center and the reformatted BPDNews.com are two great examples of how the City of Boston continues to use innovative technology to make our city safer,\” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. \”From the ShotSpotter program to the BRIC, to our successful Twitter feed and our first in the nation Text-a-Tip Program, we are now so advanced that we can give our police officers real-time data to not only help them prevent and solve crimes as they happen but better protect themselves as well.\”
Police Commissioner Davis stated, ““The Real Time Crime Center is yet another helpful tool in our ceaseless efforts to increase public safety in Boston. It is a tremendous benefit to have this technology available to us which enhances our efforts to fight crime,” Commissioner Davis added, “The new BPDNews.com, the Boston Police virtual Community, reflects our commitment to using technology to inform the citizens of Boston, to enhance communication at the District and neighborhood level and to extend our efforts to use new technology to promote and implement our mission of community policing.”
About the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC)
The Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) is a newly created division within the Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis that is responsible for monitoring ongoing police incidents and events and providing relevant information and data to field units in a “real time” manner.
Staffed by detectives and civilian analysts, the RTCC monitors active events and utilizes all technology, resources and databases available to assist field units as part of the police response to incidents. Located within the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, the RTCC is capable of monitoring multiple events at the same time. Though primarily monitoring Boston events, the RTCC is also available to assist UASI communities as needed.
The staff of the RTCC have a tremendous amount of informational resources at their disposal, including various crime and intelligence databases, communications systems, camera systems, and the Shotspotter system. Most importantly, they are dedicated to this task fulltime, and they have the training and skills to put all of these resources to use in “real time”.
The RTCC has been in the planning phases for some time, with the actual implementation being phased in throughout the month of February. Construction and equipment installation for the dedicated space was recently finished, and the civilian analysts hired with federal stimulus funds came on board earlier this month.
Already the RTCC has proven extremely useful to officers in the field. In a recent exchange of gunfire between gang associates in one of our neighborhoods the RTCC was able to provide valuable information to officers on scene – utilizing Shotspotter and homeland security cameras they were able to aid district personnel efforts that resulted in three arrests.
Another recent example involved the report of a missing elderly woman with Alzheimer\’s disease. A review of BPD camera systems helped to narrow the search, and district personnel were able to locate the missing person relatively quickly and return her safely to her family.
The new BPDNews is our effort to bring groundbreaking Virtual Community initiatives together in one place. The site reflects our commitment to utilize technology to inform the citizens of Boston, to increase communication at the District and neighborhood level and to promote and implement our mission of community policing. This new technology also provides each District with a uniform manner to deliver district-level communication to constituents. The features section below describes the methods available on the new site.
The following new features are now a part of our Virtual Community located at BPDNews.com:
- www.crimereports.com – This helpful comprehensive online crime-mapping service provides community members a user-friendly website to quickly access an integrated crime map with up-to-date crime data specific to the selected neighborhood.
- CitizenObserver –Residents can use this feature to sign up for a community e-alert system. Registered community members will receive texts and emails from their local district on important public safety information and other community alerts. Every Citizen Alert from each district will now also be posted to their individual district page.
- Neighbors for Neighbors.com – This is a local neighborhood-based social networking site for people to connect and organize around common interests within their community.
- Twitter – The BPD is one of the first police departments in the country to make use of this latest social media sensation. The BPD currently has more than 11,000 direct followers and we encourage all community members to sign up to receive frequent tweets on important public safety information ranging from road closures to motor vehicle accidents and much more.
- Facebook – Community members can also follow the BPD on Facebook and view frequent updates on public safety information, ‘Most Wanted’ individuals and other department news. This information will be fed from an RSS feed from our Twitter account.
- Call The Cops – The Boston Police Department’s weekly cable show which offers community members safety tips, a recap of weekly events and entertaining interviews with department personnel. Viewers cans also watch ‘Call the Cops’ live every Wednesday from 8:00pm- 8:30pm on BNN Comcast Ch. 9/RCN Ch. 15.
- Neighborhood Watch – The Neighborhood Watch website features a blog that highlights information about what existing and newly formed watch groups have done and are doing to improve the health and well being of their neighborhoods. It has contact information as well as links to other partners and law enforcement organizations. The website is a vehicle by which we promote National Night Out events and activities.
- District blog – Each district will have the opportunity send our alerts through their CitizenObserver program. Those alerts will then post to their individual district pages through an RSS feed.