Va. Sheriff's Office Posts Electronic Neighborhood Watch

The Rockingham, Va., Sheriff's Office last week posted on its website(www.policenet.org/va/rockinghamso) a new e-mail based applicationdesigned to alert citizens to potential criminal activity in theirneighborhoods. The Sheriff's Office for two weeks has been developing adatabase of e-mail addresses to enhance policing efforts in itsjurisdiction.

Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Rockingham averages aboutfive deputies per 800 square miles, said Bob Alotta, the SheriffOffice's director of education on informational resources. Alotta isreferred to as the office "cybercop," and was instrumental in thedevelopment of the application which he says is the only one of its kindin the nation.

"Every morning I come in and go to my computer to look at reports thatcome in from the night before. I see a lot of repetition. Things like abad check being dropped in one community and then a similar one writtenin another community," he said. Using e-mail, the office will nowroutinely circulate reports of suspicious activity and even attachphotographs of suspects or missing persons, when available.

"Recently we have had incidents of individuals impersonating VirginiaPower inspectors," said Alotta. "Today I will be zapping the people wehave signed up with the information. We even have a license platenumber." To populate its database of recipients, the Sheriff's Officehas consulted college telephone books and corporate offices, he added.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.