TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Police Department is launching a program to improve communication among citizens, and through the use of technology, keep people up-to-date on crimes happening in neighborhoods across the city.
It’s called the SAFE program, which stands for Safety Awareness for Everyone. The major component of the SAFE program is a new online dashboard the public can access.
"We’ve built an interactive dashboard that will show all of the police activity that’s happening, whether it’s in an apartment community or it’s in a neighborhood watch or a business watch," said Interim Chief Ruben Delgado from the Tampa Police Department. "It gives them an opportunity to see every crime that’s happening. If there’s something in there that piques their interest, and they want more information, the link for a public records request will exist. They can just click on the link and it’ll take them right to the request page to ask for a report for further information."
Delgado says this will help improve the relationship between citizens and police officers. They can work together to prevent and solve crimes, and communication will be sped up.
"It’s real-time, they don’t have to wait a month for an email that we used to send about what’s happening in your neighborhood, they can go online every day and see it, it updates itself every day," said Interim Chief Delgado.
People will also be able to add anonymous tips if they have information about a crime.
The dashboard is voluntary, but TPD hopes as many citizens as possible utilize the new resource, so no one has to fear for their safety in their home or neighborhood.
The dashboard has not been published on TPD’s website yet. The interim chief is going to present the SAFE Program to city councilors during Thursday’s meeting and it should be live shortly afterward.