SPD introduced a service last week that could come in handy the next time you hear sirens.
Tweets by Beat is a new system that broadcasts SPD dispatch data via Twitter. The accounts have even earned the department some attention in the New York Times.
Each precinct’s beat has a Twitter feed of its own. For the CD, here are the accounts you might want to consider following — or at least checking out from time to time:
Central District Tweets by Beat
You can look up your beat by address here.
The dispatches are on a one-hour delay:
There are a few caveats: in order to protect crime victims, officers, and the integrity of crime scenes, calls will appear on the Twitter feeds one hour after a dispatcher sends the call to an officer. The feeds also do not include information about domestic violence calls, sexual assaults, and other certain types of crimes.
The city says the new service helps SPD meet elements of the DOJ consent decree.
Our sister site Capitol Hill Seattle has been watching the feeds in test mode for a few weeks. For a news gatherer, it’s nice to have an additional element of always-on information for the neighborhood. But the feeds are pretty high traffic for a more relaxed, less stressed out, better rested member of the community like yourself. You might want to just keep the links handy for the next time you hear sirens. Anybody can view the links above — you don’t need to have a Twitter account to access the feed pages.
SPD is also continuing to map the past 48 hours of dispatch information on the city’s My Neighborhood map system. The department tweets important updates via @seattlepd and posts a selection of higher-profile crime reports to the SPD Blotter site. A wider selection of burglary, assault and robbery reports continue to be available for download here after they are redacted and private information is removed.
The new feeds likely render unnecessary some of the information sources we experimented with like @CDScanner. For an archive of SPD dispatches, our 911seattle.com site remains useful — for now.
CDNews also broadcasts live crime and 911 information via the @CDNews account as part of our general coverage. Please share items of interest you find in the new SPD information sources and feel free to ask questions about what you see. You can also call or txt (206) 696-3059 or send us mail at [email protected].
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is my last day of vacation in St. Louis, where I have been for the past week. Look for CDNews to get back to full speed tomorrow.
Lots of tweets happening in G3- thanks for the links Tom. I hadn’t seen any local press on this, but did see the New York Times article you mentioned “Tweets-by-beat.”
Thank you for breaking down the communications mechanisms and links!