Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) is taking a bold step into 21st century policing – promoting transparency and communication with the use of a new online platform named Crimewatch.
The platform will be launched with a remodeled website in August, although community members can preview the tool by going to Crimewatch.net. The streamlined communication platform is designed specifically for local police departments to enhance transparency and two-way communication. It allows law enforcement to release information to the community and to receive crime tips and other data, like security camera footage from the community.
Mountain View’s Chief of Police Steve Davis learned about this application from the Golden Police Department, who also uses the platform to inform the community with news such as crime alerts, weather hazards, road closures, Lookout Alerts and much more.
“It’s a better way to be transparent with our community,” says Davis, who is planning to put the entire policy and procedure manual on the site, as well as forms that the public can immediately download, such as accident reports, complaint reports and vacation watches.
Residents can simply download the Crimewatch app and then be able to interact with the police department using this tool. Once downloaded, community members will be able to send information to MVPD in a streamlined way. Crime tips, security camera footage and photos can all be submitted through the platform that will allow residents to engage directly with officers.
“The platform includes an app where residents can share their security camera information with police. Police will NOT be able to view anyone’s camera without the property owner explicitly sharing it,” explains Davis. “It’s just an application that residents can share if they want to, to show officers they have a security footage should we have an incident where a camera might have captured an event.”
With increasing need for transparency between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve, this is something that will start to bridge that gap.
“Our department knows that you can’t expect trust in your community if you don’t work to earn it every single day,” says Davis. “I hope this is a step that shows Mountain View understands that our community and the police need to work together as one to keep everyone as safe as possible in this ever-changing climate.”
Residents will receive notifications and instructions when the system is live. Questions may be directed to Chief Steve Davis at SDavis@tomv.org.