You’ve probably hear me say once or twice that I’ve been in the law enforcement business for a long, long time — four decades, as a matter of fact. I started out in what was called the “radio room” and my dad had to buy the bullets when I became a deputy, because I was too young. If you needed backup while out answering calls, you had to find a payphone and call it in.

Now here we are in 2019 with a state-of-the-art 24/7 Emergency Communications Center, using the latest technology possible to help keep the public, and our first responders, safe. And thanks to affordable technology available to the public, there are more opportunities for us to enlist your help in preventing, deterring, and fighting crime.

There’s a free mobile app called “Neighbors” that we’re encouraging our citizens to download. It’s marketed as a digital neighborhood watch, but what makes this mobile app different from others like it is the information shared via Neighbors is public safety and crime prevention information only. The Neighbors administrators don’t allow messages asking if anyone’s seen a lost dog, or for advice on which plumber in the area is the best.

We have a Neighbors account as well, which we’re using to push out information to specific neighborhoods. For example, if we know of a crime trend in your area, or we have great video of a suspect that we want your help in identifying, we’re going to send it to you. The app also allows you to share videos or photos with our detectives — for example, if you captured a prowler on camera or a crime in action.

If you’re interested in joining this virtual crime prevention community, visit https://download.ring.com/polkso or text "polkcounty" to "555888."

And thanks for being our “neighbors!”

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