New Program Urges Public To Send Crime Tips Via Twitter

Pilot program also allows residents to share cell photos with police

Chicago Police are turning to technology to help fight the violence that left 12 people dead and at least 60 others injured during the Fourth of July weekend.

As part of a pilot program with the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, police want the public to send in cell phone pictures so officers can see what they are responding to.

"Something like that would be an unbelievable assistance to our men and women," Supt. Garry McCarthy said. "If we have a picture of a criminal committing a crime and we're approaching the scene, we might catch the guy two blocks away."

Here's how it works: When you call 911 to report a crime, you can tell the dispatcher you have a photo you'd like to send. They'll send a message to your phone and you can reply with the picture attached.

Police stress they don't want anyone to put themselves in danger to take a picture, but if they have one it can be helpful.

Police also remind residents that tips sent via text to 274637 (CRIMES) will remain anonymous. In the message, type "CPD" then your crime tip information. That info will be shared without your identity.

"We all have a role to play," McCarthy said, "and these features will provide accessible ways for the people of Chicago to connect with the police, give us information about crimes that are happening, help us solved crimes that have happened in the past and prevent crimes from happening in the future."

Residents also can follow and share information about crimes via these Twitter handles:

Englewood, @ChicagoCAPS07

River North/Gold Coast/Old Town, @ChicagoCAPS18

Garfield Park/West Side, @ChicagoCAPS11

Witnesses who came forward this weekend led to an arrest in one of the holiday shootings.

Darrell Chambers, 24, of the 11700 block of South Peoria Street was charged Saturday with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with the shooting of a 5-year-old boy in Cooper Park.

Jaden Donald was celebrating the holiday with family and friends when he was shot in his stomach and leg just after 12:30 a.m. on July 5.

Prosecutors say Chambers was shooting at rival gang members.

Chambers was denied bond Sunday. Several witnesses came forward and identified him, and police want that cooperation to continue.

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