A MESSAGE FROM POLICE COMMISSIONER EDWARD DAVIS

Welcome to the new BPDNews.com, the Boston Police Department’s Virtual Community.The Boston Police Department takes pride in a long history of strong community-police partnerships. We work closely with our neighborhoods to address concerns and come up with workable solutions. We continue to cultivate these relationships by striving to be transparent. The BPD Virtual Community is part of that effort; it provides timely and important crime information to our residents, business owners, and individuals who take an interest in our neighborhoods. The following new features are now a part of our virtual community located at BPDNews.com: www.crimereports.com – This helpful crime-mapping tool allows community members to visit a user-friendly website and quickly access public safety information specific to the selected neighborhood. Neighbors For Neighbors – This is a local neighborhood-based social networking site for people to connect and organize around common interests. Citizenobserver – This community alert system allows residents to sign up to receive texts and emails from their local district on important public safety information and alerts distributed by their district Community Service Officer. Twitter – The BPD is one of the first police departments in the country to make use of the latest social media sensation, Twitter. Here community members can sign up to receive frequent tweets on important public safety information ranging from road closures to motor vehicle accidents and much more. Text-A-Tip – The Boston Police is the first police department in the country to utilize text messaging to allow community members to send information anonymously to our CrimeStoppers Unit. Call The Cops - This is the department’s weekly cable show where we strive to use that time to offer community members safety tips and a recap of weekly events. We also try to use this opportunity to personalize a specific unit within the department for people at home. In other words, we might do a “Meet the Harbor Patrol” segment or something on a K-9 officer – what it takes and how you become one, etc.

It is through our relationship with the community, that the City of Boston has seen the lowest levels of Part I and Violent Crime in over 40 years. Effective policing is built on connection, which is why I am pleased to introduce the BPD Virtual Community - a one stop source for public safety news and community alert information. Please become a part of our virtual community by taking some time to browse through the various information and links that are available. Over the next few months, we will be adding new and exciting information that will capture our true commitment to public safety and to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I encourage you to continue to visit this site and to be part of our BPD virtual community. As part of our ongoing commitment to being a transparent and progressive organization, the department launched BPDNews.com in November 2006 as the nation’s first police department blog. The site currently averages 40,000 hits a day. The blog includes a daily 24 hour recap of incidents that occurred in the city. We post YTD crime stats for every district on a weekly basis. This is also the location for crime trend stories, community alerts, significant arrests and updates on ongoing investigations. The Boston Police Department has been in the forefront of adapting technology to enhance our community policing efforts. Our Twitter feed now has over 8000 direct followers, and with re-tweeting can reach hundreds of thousands of people with crime alerts and requests for information - easily the most popular and effective police department Twitter feed in the US. As a department we are constantly striving for new and creative ways to keep our community informed. We have expanded BPDNews.com into a virtual community which will provide city residents and guests with important information and new ways to stay connected and engaged in the City’s public safety efforts. The following new features are now a part of our virtual community located at BPDNews.com: www.crimereports.com – This helpful crime-mapping tool allows community members to visit a user-friendly website and quickly access public safety information specific to the selected neighborhood. Neighbors For Neighbors – This is a local neighborhood-based social networking site for people to connect and organize around common interests. Citizenobserver – This community alert system allows residents to sign up to receive texts and emails from their local district on important public safety information and alerts distributed by their district Community Service Officer. Twitter – The BPD is one of the first police departments in the country to make use of the latest social media sensation, Twitter. Here community members can sign up to receive frequent tweets on important public safety information ranging from road closures to motor vehicle accidents and much more. Text-A-Tip – The Boston Police is the first police department in the country to utilize text messaging to allow community members to send information anonymously to our CrimeStoppers Unit. Call The Cops - This is the department’s weekly cable show where we strive to use that time to offer community members safety tips and a recap of weekly events. We also try to use this opportunity to personalize a specific unit within the department for people at home. In other words, we might do a “Meet the Harbor Patrol” segment or something on a K-9 officer – what it takes and how you become one, etc. The new BPDNews is our effort to bring all of these groundbreaking Virtual Community initiatives together in one place. In the days and months ahead you will see changes to the site that will reflect our commitment to using technology to inform the citizens of Boston, to enhance communication at the District and neighborhood level and to extend our efforts to use new technology to promote and implement our mission of community policing.