The new AlertID system allows the DeWitt police to give neighbors instant updates and alerts or track recent crimes and nearby sex offenders. The service is free and more than seven hundred DeWitt neighbors have signed up at the AlertID website or have download a free app for their cell phone. DeWitt is the first agency in New York State to use AlertID and has already customized it so people can get updates about their specific neighborhood.
"We could have an investigator, a supervisor or officer with a smart phone out in their car at a traffic accident. They could hop on their phone and put a posting to AlertID advising that an intersection is shut down," said Sgt. Scott Kapral.
Police say the AlertID system can help both the public and investigators. Neighbors can receive instant alerts about crimes taking place- and police can ask for help indentifying suspects.
"We can put that information out as far as suspect information and it quickly allows people who may have some knowledge to contact us," said DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway.
The goal is to give neighbors access to the information they need and improve communication.
"I think the general public wants to help solve crime and they want to be a part of that. They just sometimes need the door to be opened and this is a great door to open," said Sgt. Kapral.
The service is free for the town of DeWitt and neighbors. The AlertID website has some advertising to cover the cost.
AlertID is just part of a social media effort by DeWitt police. The department has also updated their mobile web page and joined Twitter.