Chicago Police Department Unveils Upgraded Website

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Police Department took the wraps off its new website Monday morning.

WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports the new Chicago Police website, ChicagoPolice.org, brings the department more into the 21st century after appearing to lag behind other major departments in the digital age.

You can now report non-urgent crimes online, such as criminal damage to property, graffiti, financial identity theft, simple assaults and thefts.

There is also an easier way to anonymously text information about a crime. The website also makes it easier to post things like community alerts to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

Chicago Police IT Commander Jonathan Lewin says the new website is the most interactive, transparent big-city police department website in the country.

“It’s using the latest technology,” Lewin said. “It is much more dynamic so the content is much easier to update and keep updated. It also is much easier to find content on.”

The upgraded website also features surveillance videos, crime statistic and maps and a form for bicycle registration.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says he hopes the new website generates a closer relationship between police and citizens.

“The new site is a one-stop shop where residents can get information and partner with us to share information as we work together to continue reducing crime,” McCarthy said in a release.

Sgt. Daniel Allen, who works with the departments CAPS program, says citizens can now use the website to help police without anyone knowing, and that sense of security is invaluable.

“The biggest issue is people are scared. They don’t want to be known as snitches,” he said. “They think that there could be retribution based upon the police being there.”

Some people checking out the website for the first time today, agree.

“People can give information without actually getting involved without their name being known, they might be more susceptible to help out,” said Tamara Bennett.

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