An effort to alert Wisconsin businesses about possible crimes appears to be paying off for the state. Last spring, the state Department of Justice launched the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. The service allows law enforcement to notify subscribers about possible criminal activity in their area.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says that, so far, the program has received a positive response from both law enforcement and subscribers. He says the program has already helped lead police to suspects in several cases.
For $12 a year, WCAN sends out alerts to subscribers on everything from counterfeit schemes to residential break-ins. Van Hollen says the program is intended to be a self-funding system that pairs up law enforcement and the business community to get out information on potential threats quickly.
Crimes solved so far using the alerts include breaking up a multi-state counterfeit check-cashing scheme and locating a Park Falls woman police feared may have been abducted. In both of those cases, the alerts helped bring in additional information to police that aided in identifying suspects.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:17)