PALESTINE — Members of the public are now able to “chat” anonymously with local law enforcement over their Android or iPhone device, thanks to a new PalPD Tips application the department has launched.
The app will serve as a platform for anonymous two-way conversations to take place, through which citizens can submit tips and members of police can respond.
According to a news release, the free app is “100 percent anonymous” and was developed by CitizenObserver, a St. Paul, Minnesota company, which provides web-based alerting tools to law enforcement, education and public safety agencies in more than 40 states.
The CitizenObserver company's technology “removes all identifying information before the police department sees it, so there’s no way to identify the sender,” the release states.
According to Palestine Police Lt. Jeff Powell, patrol commander, the PalPD Tips app is “a new paradigm for creating safer communities,” catering to all ages and demographics, especially a younger more tech-savvy age group.
“This tool, along with our existing TIP411 program, will help our citizens play an active role in keeping neighborhoods safer, it will engage people of all ages in the process and it will save our agency time and resources,” Powell said. “We’re proud to make this technology available to our citizens free of charge.”
Powell said the department has received useful tips since starting the TIP411 program, which allows tips to be submitted through an online “webtip” platform, as well as via text.
“We have definitely been looking forward to bringing these applications to our citizens, due to the ease of sending tips through the apps,” Powell added.
PalPD Tips app can be downloaded online at the Google Play store, iTunes or by visiting the Police Departments website at www.cityofpalestinetx.com/tip411.php .
Citizens can also send an anonymous tip to Palestine Police Department by texting the word PALPD and their tip to 847411. Anonymous web tips can be submitted from the Police Departments website at www.cityofpalestinetx.com/tip411.php.