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New Madison Police Department program sends texts to 911 callers

Madison Police Department. Wisconsin
Madison Police Department. Wisconsin(NBC15)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 6:02 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Police Department will now send automated text messages to people who call 911 or are victims of crimes.

SPIDR Tech is a service that will send a text or email explaining the next steps in the investigation. For example, the message might include a case number and the process for reviewing reports.

Automatic messages will never be sent to victims of sensitive crimes like domestic disturbances or sexual assault.

“We don’t want to do anything that would put up put a victim in greater risk by these automated messages. So, we’d certainly still follow up with those victims, but just not in this automated way,” Madison Police Captain Matt Tye said.

Another part of this new technology, that is funded through a federal grant, is increasing communication with the community. Callers will also be asked to provide feedback about the department through an online survey.

“We don’t want to be passive and just waiting for people to tell us how we’re doing. We’re trying to reach out specifically to people we know we’ve had contact with and say hey, you had contact with the police runner and how did it go? How can we improve?” Captain Tye said.

The survey will include multiple choice and open-ended questions. Captain Tye said the information will come back to the commanders so officers will not be tasked with additional work.

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