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Phillypolice Goes Online to Solve Crime

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Published on Sep 28, 2010

May 27, 2010 11:54 pm US/Eastern
Police Department Goes Online To Solve Crime
PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ― The Philadelphia Police Department is taking to the information superhighway to help take criminals off the street.

When walking the beat isn't enough to catch a criminal, the Philadelphia Police Department is turning to the internet and the millions of people who are logging on.

"People pay attention to what's on the internet. People pay attention to YouTube. They pay attention to Twitter," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey explained.

Commissioner Ramsey is changing how the department is using the web.

For example, people can look at and search for specific surveillance videos, minutes after the crime is reported. As was the case last week when two men robbed the Diesel clothing store in Center City and tied up employees. The video was also uploaded onto YouTube.

You can now search phillypolice.com for Megan's Law fugitives and you'll soon be able to interact with an official version of the department's Facebook page for crime and other police matters that affect you.

Detective Justin Frank helps run the department's new Web site, which was revamped a few months ago.

It now gets roughly 50,000 visits a month, that's 20,000 more than previously.

In the privacy and safety of their own home, people can view full surveillance videos and provide tips anonymously.

"If you happen to identify anybody in any of these videos, you can submit a tip online right there next to the video on the page," Frank explained.

Commissioner Ramsey said recent online tips have led to arrests in two recent murders, including two suspects wanted for killing a bar owner in Olney earlier this month.

Frank said the new Web site is getting up to 40 tips a day and they are planning on adding apps for the iPhone and other smartphones.

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