The Dallas Police Department is hoping to sustain the seven year trend of decreasing crime in the city with the iWatch Dallas program, rolled out on October 4th . It’s a crime tipping program designed to appeal to young people and working parents who might be reluctant use Crime Stoppers tipping programs. Tips to iWatch Dallas go directly to the Dallas PD Fusion Center and relayed from there to a follow-up investigative unit or indexed in a searchable database for later reference.
Deputy Chief Brian Harvey told ConnectedCOPS iWatch Dallas is a key part of Chief Brown’s “Community Policing 2.0” initiative. He explained that it’s intended to reach the “busy 20 or 30-somethings who don’t have a lot of time but see things and don’t want to call 911.” Harvey said one of the first tips on the first day of program roll-out had to do with an individual committing burglaries. That case is currently being investigated. He added, “we started iWatch Dallas because we just wanted to promote reporting tips and we wanted it to come through fusion, vetted through fusion and disseminated through fusion”.
The mobile app is powered by TipSoft, the leading tip management software for Crime Stoppers and law enforcement agencies based in Nacogdoches, TX. Tipsoft founder Kevin Anderson said the key to the app is that the end user doesn’t have to remember anything. Just type in the tip and hit send. He said “we are making it possible to conveniently submit a tip remotely from your phone and we’re going to make it so much easier – you don’t have to remember any short codes.”
The phone app is available for 99% of the various mobile devices on the market. Tipsoft is working on a more sophisticated version of the telephone apps to include video and image attachments. Watch for an announcement about that early in 2011.