Sacramento cops love smartphones

Local law enforcement goes all in for mobile devices

Johnny Law won’t get off his smartphone. The multiplatform gizmo version of a Swiss Army knife has become all the rage with Sacramento police agencies looking to post various events on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, including bomb scares and roadblocks, town-hall meetings and cute police-dog pictures.

And last week, the Sacramento Police Department announced its smartphone obsession with the launch of a mobile iPhone application (sorry, Droid users, you'll have to wait) allowing users to contact 911, text a complaint, view photos of missing persons and the most wanted, and access various other content having to do with the capital-city cops—like episodes of Cops featuring Sacto officers.

Perhaps more useful, the app gives access to the department's new virtual neighborhood-watch program Nextdoor, named after the social-networking website that's hosting it.

The virtual neighborhood watches that residents set up can only be accessed by residents of the same neighborhood, who have to provide their names and residential information to participate, said police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante.

The department and Nextdoor will partner on eight community meetings beginning this week to roll out the program. The first was June 26, at Universal Technical Institute in north Sacramento. If you want info on the others, do what the cops are doing, and grab your mobile.