BRONX, N.Y. - Small business owners in the Bronx have started a WhatsApp group chat with members of the NYPD.
They post surveillance videos and descriptions of suspects to warn other businesses.
More importantly, they say in the past they've often elected not to call 911, but now, with an immediate open line of communication with the NYPD, help has been arriving in time to catch the suspect.
FOX 5 NY's Arthur Chi'en spoke with bodega owner Frank Marte who came up with the idea of starting the WhatsApp group - he explains why it’s been more effective than calling 911.
"When you call 911 sometimes they take a lot of time to get there. When we call through the WhatsApp, we already have the group… they go quickly. Sometimes we facing the problems, and they are already there," Marte said.
Marte is an activist, president of the bodegas small business owners group, and he says since the WhatsApp group chat is working here in his precinct, he’s thinking of creating it, and other Bronx precincts to help small businesses there with this problem.