July 18th, 2013: Hummelstown joins countywide crime watch web portal

Monica Von Dobeneck | Special to PennLive By Monica Von Dobeneck | Special to PennLive
on July 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM, updated July 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Hummelstown residents have a new crime fighting tool where they can view arrests, leave anonymous tips and post up-to-the-minute information about crime in their neighborhoods.

Borough Council decided Thursday to join a countywide criminal justice web portal — at a cost $100 a month for the first three years.

Matt Bloom, president of Crimewatch Technologies in Carlisle, said the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office is paying the $2,500 setup cost for police and departments, and Crimestoppers, among others.

The District Attorney's Office also is paying a portion of the monthly costs for the first three years.

Hummesltown police chief Charles Dowell urged the council to join.

The program will send Facebook messages to anyone who “likes” the site, and can update or delete postings to Facebook. For instance, if charges against a suspect are dismissed, the program can automatically make that change, Bloom said.

Nine municipalities have joined the countywide system, which aunched July 8, Bloom said. It has 6,000 unique users.

It also has led to four arrests, he said. In Penbrook, a patrolman recognized a wanted criminal from his photo posted on the site.

“These are violent people, real criminals,” Bloom said.

Bloom said people don't get their news from newspapers so much anymore.

“Many people today are communicating by smartphones, social media,” he said.

Residents can access the county website, with links to individual police departments.

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