Police Beat 104: E-mailing to fight crime - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the September 2008 Juniper Berry Magazine

Police Beat 104: E-mailing to fight crime

You may now upload photos in support of your 911 or 311 complaints.

The City of New York has launched a program that allows the public to submit still images and/or audio/video files of select conditions that occur in the City, by calling 311, 911 or by visiting NYC.gov.

Sending Photos and Video to 911

The police operators that staff the 911 call center have been trained to enter a special code in the Police Department's internal communications system every time callers offer photographs or videos in connection with their emergency. The operators have also been trained to inform callers that a detective will be contacting them directly. The coded entry into the communications system automatically alerts the Real Time Crime Center and provides the 911 caller's telephone number. A detective from the Real Time Call Center will personally call the victim or witness and provide a Real Time Crime Center address to which the photograph or video may be sent.

Depending on the case, the images may be shared widely with the public, with police officers on patrol, individual detectives or other law enforcement agencies. The images may also be used in concert with the Real Time Crime Center's powerful data mining and link analysis capacity to identify and locate suspects as quickly as possible. The images may also be used to help in assessing and responding to emergencies.

The new 911 capacity comes a month after the NYPD added text messaging to it Crime Stoppers program. In addition to calling 1-800-577-TIPS, members of the public may now text message crime tips anonymously by texting CRIMES or 274637, and then entering TIP577.

Sending Photos and Video to 311

Customers may send up to three photos or videos per service request by logging onto nyc.gov from a computer or web-enabled mobile device. Customers may also tell their 311 operator they have a photo or video to send and the operator will then direct callers to the appropriate page on nyc.gov – through which customers can upload their picture or video files.

Photos or videos can be sent to 311 via nyc.gov for the following types of complaints, with additional complaint types to be added in the coming months:

• Potholes, damaged or missing traffic signs;

• Dirty vacant lot complaints;

• Street and sidewalk complaints;

• Parking meter, bus stop shelter or parking facility complaints;

• Complaints about City parks, such as general maintenance, damaged facilities, graffiti, and animal issues; and

• Damaged, missing or unsanitary public pay telephone complaints.

To report a problem online, customers can log onto nyc.gov to directly upload their pictures and videos along with complaint forms. A wide variety of file formats created by most cell phones are accepted. Customers may visit www.nyc.gov for more information.

This marks the first step in the City's ability to receive pictures and videos from the public. Next year the City will introduce additional infrastructure to further improve 911 and 311's ability to receive pictures and videos from the public.

The City of New York has launched a program that allows the public to submit still images and/or audio/video files of select conditions that occur in the City, by calling 311 or by visiting NYC.gov. See list of picture/video submission types below:

NYC.gov Picture/Video Program – to report a problem online, visit here, fill out the appropriate form, upload your pictures or video files and submit. You may currently submit photos for the following problems:

• Report graffiti in City Parks

• Report ADA complaint in Parks

• Report dirty vacant lots

• Report broken/defaced public pay phones

• Report missing/damaged street sign

• Report pothole, street, highway & sidewalk construction complaint

311 Picture/Video Program – to report a problem by cell phone, dial 311 to open a service request (SR), and provide your email address to receive the upload link. You can add pictures to the following types of 311 service requests:

• Muni meter, parking meter or parking card problems.

• Street and Sidewalk conditions such as damage or defects to a Bus Stop Shelter or Municipal Parking facility request.

• Problems in City parks, such as animals, maintenance or facility issues, and rules violation.

• Report a pothole.