(TNS) -- ROME – Three city police departments now have a new tool to help inform the public of unsolved crimes and wanted persons.
The Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers unveiled two digital kiosks Tuesday – one to be shared by the Utica and Rome Police Departments and one that will go to the Gloversville Police Department – that authorities believe will help them solve crimes.
Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers Executive Director James Glorioso Jr. said the digital kiosks – which cost about $4,000 each and were purchased through donations supplied by the Carbone Auto Group – will be able to display public safety alerts, outstanding warrants and missing person information.
The kiosks, which can be updated by administrators and the Mohawk Valley Crime Analysis Network through a secure wireless modem, also will also be to receive Amber Alerts in real time.
"The support of the community and of the law enforcement community has been great," Glorioso said. "Rome Police Department and Utica Police Department really, in the beginning were kind of working things out, trying to see how this would go and started to see the success of it and really started to grow to the point that we decided to make the investment back into the police departments with this technology."
The kiosk also will display information on how to leave a tip, either by scanning one of two QR codes – barcodes that can be scanned with a smartphone – or by calling 866-730-8477 or visiting www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com. The process is anonymous and anyone who supplies a tip that leads to an arrest can be eligible for a reward up to $1,500.
Rome Police Capt. Timothy Bates, board chairman of the Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers, said the department is seeking to put the kiosk anywhere there is heavy foot traffic such as retail stores, government buildings and perhaps even emergency room waiting rooms.
When asked about the success of the crime stoppers program in Rome, he said the department has had "tremendous" results.
"As of last week we've had 15 arrests of folks wanted on warrants," Bates said. "These are warrants issued by Rome City Court and we put them up. Granted, most of these warrants aren't for what we would consider serious crimes, but we have not been able to find these folks. Crime Stoppers has been great."
Bates said the department also intends to use the kiosk to push to get information for the unsolved homicide of Jason Oates on March 28, 2013. Oates, 32, was shot to death in the rear parking lot of the Rome YMCA.
Utica Police Lt. Bryan Coromato said the kiosk will lead to greater exposure of the department's current cases.
"It gets out message out to a good amount of people," Coromato said. "It just expands our reach to more of the population in our area for the cases that need to get solved. Hopefully, we will get positive tips to help solve the cases."
©2017 Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.