Posts tagged ‘law enforcement’

20% of Employers Deny Citizens Access to Police through Social Media

According to ScanSafe, 20% of employers are now blocking social networking sites on their company internet. Granted, employers feel that Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and others social media websites can be horrible time wasters; however, they can also be great informational tools, especially if you follow your local government or law enforcement agency through them.

As more law enforcement agencies begin to use social media for critical information, these sites gain a legitimacy that they have not had in the past. Social media information is changing from “I’m eating a ham sandwich” to “Recent string of burglaries in Maplewood: make sure to lock your doors and windows.”

And as these sites begin to be more important sources of real-time information, employers could find themselves at the wrong end of a backlash from citizens and law enforcement who want to give and have access to vital information. For example, besides giving safety reminders, many police agencies will send out traffic information that gives citizens an idea of where accidents have been, so they can avoid them on the drive home. As well, some agencies have sent information through social media about school closings, city emergencies, and other important events that citizens need to know about as soon as possible.

Blocking access to this information could be an increasing concern for employers as more and more people and law enforcement agencies begin to communicate through social media and share legitimately important information.

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August 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Community Uses Social Media to Recover Stolen Bikes

The city of Boston and the Boston Police Department have teamed up to fight bike theft in the city and increase their ability to recover stolen bikes. Six weeks ago, the joint effort created a Facebook, Twitter, and email list for citizens. Community members can join any one of them and receive alerts when a stolen bike is reported. The alerts exist to encourage average citizens to be on the lookout for the bike that was stolen. Already the program has led to the recovery of two bikes in the area. Creators of the site plan to expand their reach through a possible iPhone application.

Source: http://connectedcops.net/?p=227

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August 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

Social Media Club Gets Tips From Police

The Sacramento Social Media Club partnered with local police this past Tuesday, to discuss and share information on social media security and safety issues. Because social media is shifting the way we communicate, law enforcement has to figure out ways to help people stay safe online and use social media to catch criminals.

The meeting covered strategies for keeping your personal information safe online. For example, one presenter showed club members how to make photos private for select users. Another presentation focused on the “#1 Friend” program. The program advocates children adding their local police department as the #1 friend on MySpace. That way, any online predator viewing a child’s MySpace account will know that the child has a relationship with law enforcement and will report any suspicious activity. Hopefully, deterring any potential problems.

This is a great example of what police departments and community groups should be doing to help keep their citizens safe online. These types of community outreach programs educate older social media users and they provide parents with information and strategies for keeping their children safe online.

Keep your community safe by participating in and advocating for this type of community outreach in your neighborhood.

Source: http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/12295/Social_crime_online

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August 21, 2009 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

Milwaukee Mayor Hospitalized After Attempting to Stop an Assault

In an act that goes above and beyond his public office, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, responded to a woman’s cries for help. Leaving the Ohio State Fair with his family, Barrett heard the woman’s cries and tried to calm the assailant before things escalated. When Barrett brought out his cell phone to call 911, the assailant attacked Barrett, who suffered multiple bruises, a broken hand, and lost a tooth in the encounter before emergency services arrived on the scene.

Although, I don’t advocate jumping into a potentially violent situation, Barrett’s actions exemplify the type of passion and caring that we all need to keep our communities safe. If we are police officers, neighborhood watch members, or simply parents, looking out for, reporting, and informing your community about crimes is a responsibility that goes beyond protecting our property, toward demonstrating a concern for our neighbors and taking pride in our communities.

The mayor was released from the hospital yesterday and plans to return to work in next few days.

Source: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/53477862.html

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August 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

CrimeReports.com Raises $7.2 Million from Austin Ventures, vSpring

CrimeReports.com, the leader in online crime-mapping, today announced it has raised $7.2 million in a Series B financing led by Austin Ventures, one of the nation’s leading venture and growth equity firms, with participation from existing investor vSpring Capital. This investment will enable CrimeReports to further expand its position as a leader in the rapidly growing public safety software market, introducing innovative web 2.0 tools to increase communication and collaboration between law enforcement agencies and their constituents.

CrimeReports.com has defined itself as the leader in adapting emerging web 2.0 technologies to the needs of law enforcement agencies and has experienced significant growth in recent months, expanding its client base by almost 20% over the last two months. This growth is fueled by an unprecedented enthusiasm by law enforcement agencies across the country to adopt these new tools to engage their communities through online crime-mapping, targeted analysis and social media. This rapid adoption also relies on CrimeReports’ innovative SaaS business model and pricing structure, which make it the most affordable suite of crime-mapping, communication and analytics solutions available.

“We are pleased to announce this investment led by Austin Ventures,” said Greg Whisenant, founder and CEO of CrimeReports. “This will allow us to expand our products and services in the coming months, offering law enforcement agencies of all sizes and budgets the additional tools they need to effectively engage citizens and reduce crime using social media and web 2.0 technology.”

“This commitment indicates our confidence in the vision and relevance of CrimeReports. The company has developed innovative web solutions that fill a real need in today’s law enforcement community,” said Mike Dodd, Venture Partner at Austin Ventures and CrimeReports board member. “CrimeReports’ continued strong growth is evidence that the market is ready for new ways to approach crime data and citizen involvement.”

The CrimeReports network now publishes crime data for more than 500 law enforcement agencies across North America and, earlier this year, released Command Central, a powerful yet affordable crime analytics and visualization tool for law enforcement agencies. The additional funding will allow CrimeReports to expand the functionality of its current products and expand its offerings to address the growing demand within the law enforcement community to adopt cutting-edge web-based social networking tools.

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August 18, 2009 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

Summer Increases Juvenile Crime

According to a story from Lubbock, Texas, a recent vandalism spree is being blamed on a handful of teenagers in the area who are out of school for the summer. This example is only one in a yearly trend of increased crime during the summer months, partially attributed to teen offenders.

Although the warmer weather and the number of people on vacation makes it easier for criminals to commit crimes, at least some of the annual summer increase in crime is due to bored teens who are out of school and don’t have the pressures of homework, sports, or other school related activities weighing on them. With these weights gone, and nothing to replace them with, some teens turn to criminal activity to fill their time.

It is probably a stretch to say that just because a teen is bored he or she will turn to violent crime, but teens with a lot of time on their hands might turn to less-violent activities like vandalism and theft, looking for a quick thrill or a quick buck.

Summer break is coming to a close in many parts of the country, and kids are heading back to school, but it always pays to be vigilant. Not only can you be careful about parking your car in the garage and keeping your porch light on, but—as parents of teenagers—you can help prevent crime by steering your child away from criminal activity through communication, activities, and vigilant parenting.

Source: http://lubbockonline.com/stories/081409/loc_481676386.shtml

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August 17, 2009 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Mapping Shows Correlation Between Bars and Violent Crime

Analysts in Huntington, West Virginia, revealed at a recent city council meeting that they have found a correlation between bars in downtown Huntington and the location of violent crimes. As you can see in the picture at the right, they found that two major bar clusters (in blue) had significant overlap with clusters of recent violent crime (in red).

They are quick to point out that this analysis does not show a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and violent crime, but it does show a spatial correlation between bar locations and areas of high violent crime.

Source: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/local/090812-rutherford-localcrimesurvey.html

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August 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

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