CAPS to use Twitter, smartphones to combat Chicago violence

July 8, 2013 4:14:55 AM PDT
Chicago police were set to announce new steps Monday aimed at reducing the violence, including an effort to modernize CAPS, the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy.

Police are turning to Twitter to modernize the program.

It will start in three police districts, and if it does well, there are plans to expand it citywide.

The three districts, which include neighborhoods like Englewood and the Gold Coast, will get Twitter updates on beat meetings and crime alerts.

Also, two other tools are rolling out to help police solve and prevent crime. People will be able to send tips to police via text message, and 911 callers will be able to send pictures or video of a crime so that police can literally see the incident to which they are responding.

Residents will be able to send the messages, pictures and video anonymously through their smartphones.

The Chicago Police Department is also unveiling a more user friendly website at Chicagopolice.org to help residents find information easier.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says these steps are the next phase in breathing new life into CAPS, which, since the 1990s, was plagued with budget cuts and criticism that it was an expensive political tool that was ineffective.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was expected to talk more about the new CAPS program later Monday.


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