"See Something, Say Something": DPD's Got a Whole New Way to Report "Suspicious Activity"

Categories: Crime
Andrea's decided to spend some time at the city council's Public Safety Committee briefing this afternoon, where she'll learn a little more about iWatch Dallas, the DPD's just-launched "virtual crime watch" that allows the citizenry to type in tips from their computers and cell phones. Says the DPD, "iWatch Dallas focuses on criminal behavior and criminal enterprises that could also indicate a nexus to terrorist activities."

It's a knock-off of the LAPD program, which, in July, was expanded into Los Angeles International Airport to help thwart terror attacks. Counter-terrorism was the chief reason for L.A.'s iWatch program one year ago; so insists the video it debuted in October '09. DPD lists that among the myriad crimes it hopes the program deters: "auto related crimes (Chop Shops, Auto Theft, BMV), prostitution, narcotics, gangs, burglary, criminal fences, swindle and homeland security."

Alas, if you're among those who think the whole "See Something, Say Something" things sounds a bit, well, problematic, you're not alone: FBI agent-turned-ACLU policy counsel Michael German is an outspoken critic of these and other "suspicious reporting activity" programs: "While there is little evidence SAR programs find terrorists, there is plenty of evidence that they are being used to violate the rights of innocent people engaged in innocuous activities like photographing national landmarks and engaging in protected speech." DPD will tell the council today the program doesn't violate civil liberties or "[promote] racial or ethnic profiling."

Update: DPD sent an Official Press Release, which follows. And here's Trey Garrison's take. Read it. Then, look over your shoulder.
"iWatch Dallas"

The Dallas Police Department is excited to announce a new crime tip program, "iWatch Dallas", that will enhance the Department's ability to engage the community in crime prevention efforts. This new tip program is the first in law enforcement to utilize downloadable phone applications to increase the ease for citizens to provide information to the Dallas Police Department that could provide an investigative lead and solve or prevent a crime.

"iWatch Dallas" is a virtual crime watch for Dallas that has the ability to harness 1.3 million citizens by offering internet tip submissions, text tips, 4MB photo upload capability, customized phone applications, and telephone tips.

This increased availability to communicate with the Department is a key part of Chief Brown's "Community Policing 2.0" direction for 2011. The dramatic decreases in crime over the past seven years can only be continued with citizen help and involvement. Citizens are aware of crime in their neighborhoods and that information can help to both solve crime and prevent future crimes.

While there are currently 516 active crime watches in Dallas, "iWatch Dallas" is intended to reach those that are not currently involved in a crime watch. Young people and working parents may not have the time to participate in a crime watch but they have information that could help solve or prevent a crime. Citizens often comment that they have wanted to tell the police in a non-emergency situation, but they did not know who to call. Through the use of text tips and easy-to-use telephone applications, citizens aware of criminal activity can easily submit that information to the police department.

Please note that "iWatch Dallas" should not be used for emergencies when a police response is needed. For an emergency, citizens should continue to call 911. There is no immediate police response to an "iWatch Dallas" tip or submission.

The telephone application is designed to reach 99% of the estimated 5000 various handsets in use today (Symbian 41%; RIM 18%; Android 17%; Apple 14%; All Others 9%; source: Inteloquence, Inc.)

Instructions for telephone downloads are at www.iwatchdallas.net , click on "Apps for your phone". Please note the Apple application has been approved but is currently in review by Apple and is expected to be available by the end of this week.

Modeled after other "See Something, Say Something" campaigns that focus on suspicious behavior related to terrorism, "iWatch Dallas" combines local crime tips with information on homeland security to build awareness and educate the public. Street crime may also have a terrorism nexus, so "iWatch Dallas" information will be routed to the Dallas Police Department Fusion Center where it can be researched and vetted within current Departmental privacy guidelines. If the information justifies additional action, it will be sent to one of the many Departmental operational groups for follow-up.

Vetted tip information will be maintained in a searchable database that will be available to detectives to further enhance the Department's ability to solve criminal cases. Data will only be evaluated on behavior reasonably believed to be related to criminal activity.

The Dallas Police Department appreciates the contributions of local organizations and businesses:

Safer Dallas Better Dallas (www.saferdallas.com ), a longtime partner with the Dallas Police Department in crime fighting efforts, provided critical support to this project through the donation of TipSoft, a leading tip management program; and acquisition of programming capabilities for the unique, customized phone applications provided by iThinQware, a local software and web design company.

The red, white and blue "iWatch Dallas" logo was donated by Inteloquence, Inc. along with the layout and graphics for the attached English and Spanish one sheet handout and assistance with the production of promotional videos.

The firm of Jackson Spalding, an Atlanta-based company with its Dallas office in Thanksgiving Tower, has offered assistance to promote "iWatch Dallas".

The "iWatch Dallas" program will be presented to City of Dallas Public Safety Committee today between 12 noon and 2 pm. Staff and team members will be available following the Public Safety Briefing for media inquiries or interviews.

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ron jacob
ron jacob

The Masonic grip on our courts and police is in itself illegal, not to mention the brutality, oppression mis-justice and general corruption that results from your influence. Every problem in the world today stems from masonic influence on our justice systems, as Masons illegally shape, make and brake the laws of our land, all in pursuit of your socialist agenda.

There are already hundreds of thousands of people who understand the dangers of masonic influence. As Masons continue to tighten their grip on our liberties more and more people will want to know who is responsible, that's where I come in.

With the technology available today,these thousands will turn into millions. The few Masons who avoid justice will have to meet in garages, barns and basements. Back at square one

Ron ajcob
Ron ajcob

Crime my ass. what about women with children being harassed, sick, elderly, blacks, handicapped...Are these Americans terrorist ??Its happening everyday thru out America and the world.Who is this ??? Freemasons of course, they are the sorrist, to do these gangstalking tactics. Mason fieman......city,couty and state dirty cops.. Karma is coming.Just in Shreveport last 2 months, 2 city marshalls die in car wrecks, masonic cops son shoots and kills masonic cop, shot him 5 times point black. kid did not why he shot..

Kill all gangsters
Kill all gangsters

ALL gang members are domestic terrorists, and they should all be shot and killed on sight, just like El Salvador has been doing with MS-13 members. If you are in a violent criminal gang then you have given up all your rights, as far as I am concerned. Get ready to die.

I'll just leave this here...
I'll just leave this here...

Maybe this is too little, too late, but as you may well already know, Crime Scene services in Dallas is a joke.

Our home was burglarized in March, the cops came out right away, but it was about 6 hours before the "Crime Scene" decided to arrive. The Crime Scene person (not a cop, not much of a tech either) basically gave our house the "once-over", doing nothing more than giving lip service and scolding us about our locks and windows. She acted like she was "dusting for prints" around the windows, but was mostly just making a mess, as, she just spread that dust all over everything, and did not really look at it.

It's basically up to you, the resident/neighbour to be vigilant about your own neighbourhood.

Bonnie Calcagno
Bonnie Calcagno

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Police, Firemen, Ambulance Drivers and Neighborhood Watch Group - then, at least with some people so reported, are using a new tactic called organized gang stalking. Neighborhood Watch Groups must have been given an incentive program to buy red cars and trucks because they are using them in conspicuous surveillance of targets. Below is what is going on:

It could start with being "reported" by a neighbor or firemen who are part of fusion centers. No due process. No chance to be informed of what has been said against you. The U.S. government has legitimized "personal vendettas."

1. The target is put under conspicuous surveillance - by police, firemen, and Stasi-like gang stalkers using red cars, red trucks, or who wear or carry red

2. It starts from the minute the target leaves her/his home - Same Time Exit/Entry is the standard gang stalking tactic - you go out - they are going out

3. They use BEEPING - when you take the dog out - go in your yard - at other times

4. They set off car alarms or have Citizen Stalkers use power equipment (leaf blowers etc.) in their yards, so that the target experiences a wall of NOISE if she tries to take a walk.

5. They have dogs jump out of car windows - let dogs off their leashes, run up at you - use dogs to intimidate

6. They use NOISE to disturb sleep

7. They use GPS to track you

8. Red cars are at intersections - more often in front of you than in back of you

9. They like to park red cars at the end of parking lots where they are noticed

10. A gang stalker in red might be there when you exit a store or a red car or truck will pass just as you exit

11. A gang stalker might be talking on a phone as they pass you by and say your name to the person they are speaking to

12. They use children in gang stalking - even preschoolers, teenagers, old people, handicap people (the Stasi in East Germany also used children)

13. They get neighbors involved in the gang stalking to socially isolate the target and to gang stalk the target when they enter or leave their home, try to take out the garbage, pick up mail.


Bill, I agree with your sentiments, but how is this any different from the status quo? We don't have enough cops to police every nuisance, much less getting them to come out for a car break in.

Larry, cops don't do shit about car break ins. They take a report over the phone--and then get their "best guys on it, they're even working in shifts." Riiight.

My wife's car was broken into, the culprit was hiding in the bushes, yet no cops could be summoned. Although, they did have a speed trap at the bottom of a hill in Lake Highlands, and I guess couldn't be pulled away.

This just encourages prudish shut-ins to harass their neighbors. "Prudence is an old woman courted by incapacity" W. Blake.

Bill Marvel
Bill Marvel

East Dallas Mark,Yes. Every person every other person's cop,�code enforcer, minder and monitor. THAT'S the kind of society I want to live in!


I'm much less worried about terrorists than burglars. We already have a line for that: 911.

Timothy  Covington
Timothy Covington

Why I am picturing a Dallas Police Lieutenant asking in a bad German accent "Perhaps you have relatives in East Dallas?"

East Dallas Mark
East Dallas Mark

Sweet! Add "Code Enforcement" to the list and we might have something.

As always, "If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about." :-P

Bill Marvel
Bill Marvel

Thanks, Vic,Miller beats me by miles. I took the buyout in 2006 to write books.


While I'm not a fan of everyone minding my and everyone else's business, I'm particularly offended by the CONSTANT need to brand EVERYTHING with a lowercase "i" in front of it. Curse you, Steve Jobs!

Larry the Lover
Larry the Lover

First you need the Mexican community to start calling the police. Outside of somebody getting shot they don't. I had one neighbor ask me if I had been broken into in broken english because his car had been burglarized 3 times in the last two weeks. When I asked him if he had called the cops he said, "No". and kind of chuckled. I then proceeded to tell him he was stupid for not doing it because it would give me a reason to get more patrols in the neighborhood.

And Bill, don't worry, as long as you got a good ventilation system your grow won't be discovered.


"We did this before, during WWI."

Bill, you are truly Dallas's hidden centenarian treasure and a marvel to behold, to boot. While others struggle just to master their Cream of Wheat, you forge ahead building whole sentences to remind us of history we might otherwise forget.

Here's to wishing you many more, and a special wish that in enjoying them you knock Robert Miller's employment record right into the dustbin of memory.


are they going to introduce a 911 Texting option?

Bill Marvel
Bill Marvel

O Lordy,Train watchers,plane watchers, photographers, anyone with binoculars, lingerers, loiterers, scenery watchers, speakers of foreign languages, readers of suspicious books -- watch out!We did this before, during WWI. Citizens were actively encouraged to spy on their neighbors and report "suspicious" activities. The result was a civil rights nightmare, something like East Germany during the Cold War. It's amazing what ordinary nosy Americans consider suspicious.

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