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Saskatoon’s Crime Crushing website hopes to broaden public safety messaging


A new website based out of Saskatoon is hoping to expand the reach of public safety posts that law enforcement tries to get out to the public.

Ryan Ehalt is the CEO and founder of Crime Crushing, a website he hopes to use to bypass social media algorithms to keep people updated on crime in the community.

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Ehalt used to be a part of the Crime Stoppers program in Saskatoon and said he knows the impacts that it can have in the community.

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“We sort of grew the local (Crime Stoppers) program on social media to one of the most followed in the country, if not North America, where we were able to see a 33 per cent solve rate of all cases that we posted to social media,” Ehalt said.

He said that success made him wonder what could be accomplished if they could eliminate the impact of algorithms on social media, and how many more cases could be solved if more people could be reached.

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“We only reach about 75 per cent of the total followers that we have on social media. I know many people tried to figure out how you defeat the algorithm. How do you work with this?”

He said they’d maybe get to post one or two things a day before their reach dives off, noting that can’t happen when it comes to public safety messaging.

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He added social media is a free tool that they try to use to the best of their ability.

Ehalt gave an example of a business that used Crime Stoppers for a year, noting they had a 100-per cent success rate of identifying suspects because they had some of the clearest video surveillance cameras in Saskatoon, but suddenly stopped using them.

“So I called up the loss-prevention officer and asked, ‘Hey, why aren’t you using Crime Stoppers anymore to find your suspects?’, thinking that still crime is occurring. And he says, ‘Ryan, we don’t have any more crime here.’”

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Ehalt said he’ll never forget hearing that, noting at the time he was in complete disbelief.

“Ultimately that is the goal of policing, that is the goal of what they are about, what we are trying to do.”

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He said community members picked up that they could help play a role in that crime prevention, sharing posts from Crime Stoppers.

Ehalt said having their own platform allows them to reach all their follows.

“We don’t want you out there investigating, but you do have a part to play.”

He said Crime Crushing will work because of a built-in automatic feedback loop, noting the biggest complaint they’ve heard is “we never heard what happened.”

Ehalt said people who use Crime Crushing will get an update as to what happened regarding a crime.

He said users can create a profile on the site and people will get emergency alerts with continuous updates until the matter is resolved.

Ehalt said Crime Crushing is weeks away from testing an alpha version of the program, noting they are still looking for police agencies and Crime Stoppers to partner with them.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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