Mayor Announces New Alert NetworkIncreases Communication between Police and Local Residents Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined area residents and members of the Boston Police Department today to announce a new pilot program called the Boston Police Alert Network that will send updated information to residents and business owners regarding area crimes and events. Mayor Menino is urging all residents to register for this service. “This communication will help residents be more informed of what is happening in their neighborhoods, while also encouraging them to share information with police to help them solve crimes,” Mayor Menino said. The Alert Network allows police to instantly update registered users about crime, emergencies and other important information. Information on fugitives, missing persons and unsolved cases will also be provided on alerts. There will also be a “Submit a Tip” feature on alerts allowing people to reply with tips and other information directly to police. Today’s event was held at the Target store at the South Bay Center Mall. The idea for this pilot network came out of Mayor Menino’s Strategic Crime Council and collaboration with Target Corporation’s Safety City Initiative. Target is helping to fund the first year of the program. “I would like to thank Target for their efforts in working with us and the Boston Police Department,” Mayor Menino added. “Target continues to be a great ally in our push to make our neighborhoods safe.” Residents need to register online to receive these alerts. People can register at www.CitizenObserver.com and click on the Sign Up Now link. There will be four types of alerts: · Citizen Alerts – informs all registered users of a public safety concerns. Police will provide descriptions of incidents, actions taken and photographs when possible. Alerts will be delivered via e-mail and text messages; · Business Alerts – targeted to specific business types, so businesses will receive information relevant to their business. Alerts will be delivered via fax, e-mail and text messages; · Case Alerts – Police will automatically send information about open cases to all registered users. Alerts will be delivered via e-mail and text messages; · Neighborhood Watch Group Alerts – Police will send targeted alerts to specific neighborhoods with information about crimes in the immediate area. Alerts will be delivered via e-mail and text message. Members of the Mayor’s Strategic Crime Council, which include cabinet-level officials from a number of departments, meet on a weekly basis to discuss ways to reduce crime in Boston. The Council brings in external partners such as the Sheriff, Probation Department or DYS on an as-needed basis to discuss crime issues relevant to those agencies. The Strategic Crime Council employs a six-pronged approach to addressing crime, which includes: a legislative agenda with regional and national outreach, the involvement of public health and healthcare agencies, targeted law enforcement strategies, education and awareness efforts, community outreach, and the judicial system changes.