Making New York City Safer, Cleaner and More Livable Using Today's Technology

Digital cameras…camera phones… smartphones. These terms weren’t even in our vocabulary ten years ago, yet today, many New Yorkers carry this pocket-sized technology with them everywhere they go. One of the goals of the administration is to tap the potential of new technology and put it to work for city government. Recently, we took a big leap into the digital age by equipping the 911 and the 311 systems to accept photos and videos sent through mobile phones or uploaded through the city’s website at

The idea is to empower New Yorkers to use the technology we’ve already incorporated into our daily lives to join the fight against crime and help improve our city’s quality of life. Here’s how it works.

If, for example, you snap a picture of a car as it flees the scene of a hit and run, call 911 to report the crime as you would normally, and then tell your operator that you have an image that might be helpful to the police. That operator will then notify our Real Time Crime Center, and you’ll get a call from a detective who will give you an address where you can send the photo via text message or email.

In the coming months, we’ll have the ability to instantaneously transmit the pictures or videos you send us to patrol cars in the vicinity of a crime. This technology should put all would-be-criminals on notice: escaping the law is going to be harder than ever when every police officer in the area knows exactly what you look like, or what kind of car you’re driving.

New Yorkers can also now upload photos and videos to help us improve the delivery of non-emergency services such as filling potholes, cleaning up graffiti in city parks or fixing street signs.


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  • wish to remain unknown on Friday, January 16, 2009 3:57 PM
    you want pictures? come to 79th Avenue btwn 87th st & 88th streets in Glendale Queens where PS113Q school is -- you wont even be able to get on the block because the ignorant whose children go to this school (as mine did but I followed the rules) park on the side of the school that says no parking 7am - 4pm when school is in session therefore the school buses have to sit in the middle of the street and block traffic and the kids have to exit the bus while in the middle of the street traffic is at a standstill and residents cannot get in or out of their driveways and this is dangerous for all concerned calling 311 and making complaints does nothing to recity this situation if the 104 sent someone to write tixs everyday then you would see results