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Pilot social media program in 109th Pct. wins award

By Madina Toure

The NYPD has received a “Best of New York” award for its social media campaign, whose pilot program started in the 109th Precinct.

The Center for Digital Government gave the Police Department the “Most Innovative Use of Social Media/Citizen Engagement” award for the NYPD’s IdeaScale website, nypd.ideascale.com, a web-based platform that crowdsources the quality-of-life agenda so the department can keep track of problems occurring in the community.

Due to what the department has learned through the platform, it has been able to pinpoint and resolve previously unknown issues as well as better use its resources and preventative measures.

In April, the NYPD launched the campaign at the 109th Precinct’s monthly council meeting at the Police Academy in College Point. The program seeks to follow quality-of-life issues, including graffiti, excessive noise, speeding, double-parked cars and truck traffic.

The website currently has about 1,600 users, according to Chrissy Voskerichian, president of the 109th Precinct Community Council.

The precinct has active Facebook and Twitter accounts in which it regularly gives residents updates about crimes occurring in the area.

Voskerichian said Inspector Thomas Conforti has taken a lead on social media in the precinct, noting that he would learn of the issues in the area on IdeaScale “within seconds” and take action.

“I think that’s why we were chosen to be a pilot,” Voskerichian said. “I think he just put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that it was going to be a program that worked for the community and gave them a way to report their quality-of-life issues instantaneously.”

The Police Department also received the “Best Application Serving the Public” award for the Emergency Service Unit—Mobile Computer Assisted Dispatch system, which enables emergency information to be available to first responders in near real time.

Three additional precincts are now using the IdeaScale platform and there are plans to expand it further in the Police Department. Future plans to enhance the platform to make it more interactive will be announced by the end of the year.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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