'Hello, police'

If you are a resident of Arlington County, Va., the Police department calls you every now and then. A system known as "Reverse 911" informs residents and businesses of criminal activity in their neighborhoods or solicits information to help solve crimes.

For example, if there has been a rash of break-ins in an area, Reverse 911 sends a recorded message via computer to the phones of people in the affected neighborhood. Police want to prevent similar crimes and hope that if someone has seen something suspicious, he will report it.

Source: Arlington County Police Department

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