"It allows...one person, to send out a text to dozens and dozens if not hundreds in a geographic area as opposed to making phone calls or sending out email blasts," said TPD Captain Kevin Hall.
SPIDR Engage also sends out email alerts explaining what kind of police activity is going on: "Anybody who opts in or signs up for it telling them immediately: this is what's happening, stay inside lock your doors, or this is very localized to a particular area, you're safe," said Captain Hall of the Midtown division.
Once the alert system is live city-wide, you'll be able to sign up right on the TPD website or officers you encounter on the street will sign you up.
You can get alerts for your particular neighborhood, and you can select if you want texts, emails, or both.
A unique feature of this system gives you the option to reply to officers' alerts. "It's completely two-way," said Captain Hall. "Just like we can send out texts and emails, they can send texts, they can send emails. It goes to a centralized location where then it's sort of routed to the appropriate division where they live."
And based on where you live, you will get safety reminders and surveys to rate the officers you interact with.
"If there's a hot spot or a localized area where there's a high number of burglaries or larcenies, we can send out a reminder to lock your cars and take your valuables in at night," said Captain Hall.
Another feature of the SPIDR Engage system will send automatic updates to crime victims. So, you'll know quickly if an arrest has been made in your case or any other developments.
TPD said this system will help them answer your questions faster than ever before, and provide information to a broader audience that is not on social media.
But, it's not just about efficiency. TPD believes this system is about changing perceptions of the department.
"This is just another step in trying to mend that relationship that's gone on for decades," said Captain Hall. "We are all in this together, and the only way we're going to make the community better is together."
Tucson is part of a pilot program, so our city is getting to try this software for free. The first rollout will be around Fourth Avenue starting November 14th. Within a couple months, it should go citywide.
Stay with KGUN9 for updates on how to sign up as soon as the program is available in your neighborhood.