Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy Announce New Ways Residents Can Communicate with Police

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy today announced a series of features through which residents can interact with police, access information about police and share information with police. The moves will improve communication with residents and increase access to information about their communities.

“Online or on the block, CAPS need to be where the community is,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We are using every asset, visible and virtual, traditional tools and new technologies, cops and community members, to make our neighborhoods safe.”

“These new tools are an important step forward for the Chicago Police Department and for the city,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “Our comprehensive policing strategy involves much more than policing alone, and by continuing to improve our communications with residents we will continue to foster stronger relationships that will benefit all of Chicago.”



Twitter pilot program

  • Through a new pilot Twitter program, Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) personnel in the 7th (@ChicagoCAPS07), 11th (@ChicagoCAPS11) and 18th (@ChicagoCAPS18) police districts will begin using the social media site to provide residents with information about the surrounding community. They will share information on beat meetings, business alerts, community alerts and missing and found persons cases. In time, the program will be expanded to all districts.



Online beat meetings

  • Police are also increasing access to beat meetings by allowing online participation. Beat meetings have been used throughout the city for years to provide residents, leaders and community organizations with a regular forum to hear from their local police and to voice concerns. The new initiative will keep CPD’s regular beat meetings and add an online format through which participants can watch the meeting and have their questions answered – from home or work.

Redesigned website

  • Additionally, CPD unveiled a redesigned, more user-friendly website to help residents find information more easily.


Two vehicles also allow residents to share information with the police about emergency situations and crimes.

Share pictures with 911

  • Another new feature allows those making 911 from camera-equipped cellular telephones to send messages containing photographs to the 911 system. This will help ensure police responding to an emergency can literally see the incident to which they are responding.
  • The images are sent to the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC), where they are viewable in real-time by trained personnel and may be distributed to investigators. The safety of the caller is of utmost importance– callers should not put themselves in jeopardy to take photos of crimes in progress.

To share a photo:

  1. Inform the call-taker you have a cell phone photo to send
  2. Call-taker initiates prompt message to caller’s cell phone
  3. Caller replies to prompt message with image attached
  4. CPIC staff are alerted about the image
  5. When CPIC staff determines an image has immediate value it will be emailed to officers in the field or its existence will be radioed to officers in the area

Share anonymous tips via text message

  • Finally, through a “text to tip” program residents can anonymously and safely send information about crimes that have been committed directly to police via text message, helping police keep communities safe by solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice. Tips send to CPIC where they are reviewed by a police officer for appropriate action. This service does not replace 911 for emergencies.

To submit a tip to Police:

  1. Enter the number 274637 (CRIMES) in the “TO” line
  2. Inthemessagebox,type the word CPD, a space,and then your crime tip information
  3. Send the text message
  4. Those submitting a tip will receive an automatic message,though no one’s identity will be sent to CPD