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DPD Launches iWatch


By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Dallas Police are launching the new i-Watch program this week. KERA's BJ Austin says it allows tips about suspicious or criminal activity via your smart-phone or laptop.

Deputy Police Chief Bryan Harvey says some other cities have the iWatch program, but they are geared toward "terrorism". The Dallas program focuses more on street crime and keeping neighborhoods safe.

Harvey: This is a virtual crime watch that has the potential for providing incoming tips from about 1.3 million citizens in the community.

Chief Harvey says the most interesting part is the new ability to "text" tips to police.

Harvey: The text tips will allow for anonymous tips into the police department. We are the only police department in the country to have downloadable phone applications.

Chief Harvey says the phone apps are available for Blackberry, Droids and other smart phones. The iPhone app is expected to be ready by the end of the week.

All tips will be vetted by the Department's intelligence and analysis Fusion Center. Chief Harvey says the have worked with groups concerned about privacy and profiling issues. And he says the department will adhere to strict guidelines. The iWatch program is part of the departments' "Community Policing 2.0" strategy.

Dallas iWatch Link

Email BJ Austin