District Attorney Matt Weintraub will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 11, to announce the county-wide launch of the CRIMEWATCH Network in Bucks County. The news conference will be in the county commissioners’ meeting room on the first floor of the Bucks County Administration Building (old county courthouse), 55 E. Court Street, Doylestown.
Attending the news conference will be representatives of municipal police departments throughout the county and county officials who have approved initial CRIMEWATCH funding for all Bucks law-enforcement departments. Also attending will be Matt Bloom, founder and CEO of CRIMEWATCH, an online program that has proven invaluable in other parts of the state to police, the communities they protect and serve, and media outlets as a means of disseminating and receiving criminal justice public information.
Through CRIMEWATCH, which can be accessed on personal computers or on smartphones as a free downloadable app, police agencies are able to communicate transparently and interactively with residents, stakeholders, the media and one another about crimes and arrests in their jurisdictions, fugitives or persons of interest wanted by law enforcement, public service announcements, court verdicts and sentencings, general information about their agencies, and other matters. CRIMEWATCH can also be used in searches for missing children or seniors under Amber or Silver Alerts, and to list community law enforcement events such as “Shop with a Cop,” Hero Scholarship fundraisers and drug take-back events.
Members of the public, in turn, have the ability to submit tips anonymously to police in the event that they have information about an unsolved crime or they recognize a wanted suspect or a missing person whose photo appears on CRIMEWATCH.
In Bensalem Township, the first Bucks County police department to use CRIMEWATCH, at least 125 such tips have been received since November, resulting in arrests in several substantial criminal cases. Among those arrested were a man wanted for a home-invasion sexual assault, an alleged hit-and-run driver suspected of critically injuring a bicyclist, and a suspected credit card thief who was charged with theft and fraud. In each of these cases, a citizen recognized a surveillance photo or video posted on CRIMEWATCH and provided a tip that helped lead to the arrest.
It is the intention of the District Attorney’s Office to use CRIMEWATCH as our exclusive means of providing news releases, arrest announcements and court case outcomes to the media. Some of you may already be familiar with our site, as all of our Twitter alerts are now generated via CRIMEWATCH posts, such as this release posted yesterday: https://bucks.crimewatchpa.com/da/29567/post/man-gets-5-15-years-supplying-drugs-killed-his-friend We intend to use CRIMEWATCH in the near future to generate our Facebook posts as well.
Since you and/or your organization has asked to be on our media e-mail alert list, you will be automatically enrolled to receive emails immediately on news content being pushed out by CRIMEWATCH. You are welcome to copy content from these emails, including photos, as part of your reporting. Our only request is that you cite the source of the release in your story and that you encourage the public, where appropriate, to use the Submit-a-Tip feature within CRIMEWATCH for sharing information with authorities. (i.e.: Source: www.bucksda.org )
We hope to see you there tomorrow. While we think the Bucks County launch of CRIMEWATCH is newsworthy in and of itself, we believe it would be to your advantage to familiarize yourselves with this new technology because you and your colleagues will be seeing much more of it in the near future. Matt Bloom will provide a demonstration of how CRIMEWATCH works, and he and the other participants will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
If you need help getting connected to CRIMEWATCH and need support with your media account, please contact CRIMEWATCH via email firstname.lastname@example.org . CRIMEWATCH staff will either provide you with help electronically or schedule a call to assist you.