RICHLAND, Wash.-- The Richland Police Department is going high-tech as they work to crack down on crime and they want to get the community involved.
The Richland Police Department had a big morning. It started with a fifteen thousand dollar donation from HAPO Community Credit Union and also included the launch of the Richland Shield. It's a new website that will allow community members and businesses to share information about crime and help the police department prevent it.
The Richland Police Department started off the day accepting a fifteen thousand dollar donation to buy more tasers for officers. Now, each on duty officer will have a non-lethal option for protection.
They also launched a new website that's on the cutting edge. They've partnered with Microsoft to create a website that allows citizens to share pictures, videos, maps and descriptions of incidents to help police keep the community safe.
Richland Police Sergeant Tony Striefel, Richland Shield Project Manager, says the website expands communication.
"Instead of just meeting one or two people on the street that might have a common problem, they're able to push out alerts, read problems that are in neighborhoods and things like that from hundreds of people at a time," says Striefel.
The website is secure and only people who are vetted as reliable sources can join, including home owners association members, neighborhood watch groups and business owners.
"I think that they are going to be able to see that they're all kind of having the same problems and they'll be able to adjust accordingly and create that level of awareness that they don't have right now," says Striefel.
Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb Police says the police department hopes this website will enhance their efforts with the resources they have.
"We're not going to be able to add an incredibly large number of people to keep up with the challenges we face so what we're trying to do is be creative and innovative and us technology to help problem solve," says Cobb.
The site is just one phase in their plan to use technology to crack down on crime.
"We are going to make this application Tri-City wide at some point and so we're encouraging not only our other jurisdictions but also our neighboring businesses to participate as well," says Cobb.
Police officers can also post incidents on the website, and respond to citizen posts for further investigation.