BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)–Baltimore County Police say they are the first police department in Maryland to use wireless devices to communicate with the public directly.

Suzanne Collins explains people can now file reports, give tips and get crime information anywhere.

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Surveillance video shows a man who police say is stealing credit cards from lockers at a local gym. You can get e-mail alerts about news like that or help police find vehicles or suspects.

That’s not all. You can even file police reports from home, or from your mobile phone beginning now in Baltimore County.

“Our iWatch will be monitored by police 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, “So it’s no different than when police officers answer phones or are called to the scene to write a report.”

The county executive says it’s how the private sector works in 2011 and the new iWatch system will save police resources by improving efficiency.

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The police chief says he hopes it will help solve more crimes.

“Now citizens at their convenience can load this up, watch it over and over again, and perhaps the fourth time around they’ll recognize the individual, and perhaps communicate that information to us,” said Chief Jim Johnson.

Police say please go ahead and text them, give them tips and information. But they do not want you to do that if you have a real emergency; they’d rather you call 911.

The system became active Thursday. To subscribe to iWatch, click here.

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The county says it isn’t hiring anyone or spending extra money to implement the new system.