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Chicago police adding Twitter twist to community beat meetings

Updated: July 9, 2013 1:10AM

Twenty years after Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) started in the city, the community-based program is getting some 21st century tweaks.

To “continue to build strong cooperation” between police and the community, CPD is launching a pilot Twitter program that will let officers use the social media site to notify residents about upcoming beat meetings and other important neighborhood events, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday.

Residents will also be able to watch and participate in community beat meetings online, McCarthy said.

“They can submit questions virtually from the comfort of their own home and their computer,” McCarthy said.

The Twitter program is set to begin in the Englewood, Harrison and River North districts, but will then “quickly expand citywide,” McCarthy said.

“This is part of the mayor’s and mine shared vision” for improving communication between residents and police, McCarthy said.

The city is also about to unveil a re-designed, more user friendly Chicago Police web site.

To help police better solve crimes, residents will soon be able to send crime scene photographs from the cell phones to the 911 system.

“This will help our responding officers to understand and actually have eyes on the ground to the incidents they are responding to,” McCarthy said.

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