News10.net reports that the Manteca Police Department has for the first time used an automated telephone calling system to alert a neighborhood of a violent crime in their area.
I’m wondering if this is the future of law enforcement? How effective do you think a pre-recorded message can be in informing the public of criminal activity given our constant barrage of telephonic spam (this would totally be the name of my band if I had, like, musical talent and ambition and stuff) we experience everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I see the intent behind this system, I just worry that law enforcement is one of those areas where automation like this is not really needed.
The computer program is a reverse of the 911 emergency system. “It sends out a recorded message for a emergency situation,” said the department’s crime analyst Linda Silva. “I can pick out a certain area, and it brings up those numbers and just calls that area.”
Reverse of 911? How so? When you call 911 do you speak with an automated voice response system? I don’t think that you do, although that would be great and would really make my point.
911 IVR System: Hello, you’ve reached the 911 emergency system automated call center. Your emergency is very important to us. Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received. If your emergency involves an assault, press 1 now. If your emergency involves a…
In their defense, the police department has had the system for a while and does not use it regularly.
“We don’t want to misuse it. People won’t pay attention to it. We felt it was a good opportunity in a small area to try it.”
It was also a good opportunity to visit the folks in a small area in person to answer questions and ease some worried minds. Or is that totally unrealistic?