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Victoria Police Department unveils crime prevention application

By Bianca Montes
Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

The Victoria Police Department anonymous tip form allows residents to send information to the police department and engage in real-time talk with detectives. The program is part of the Tip411 program, which launched Wednesday.

Want to fight crime?

Well, guess what. There's an app for that. The Victoria Police Departmentt released its anonymous text program and smartphone application Wednesday to motivate conversations between residents and the police department.

The national Tip411 application allows users to send tips through text or instant message to officers and hold real-time conversation, while maintaining their anonymity, said Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig.

"Something like this would be ideal for cold cases," Craig said, because those who may have been hesitant to reveal information in the past have the security of the application now.

Users are assigned a number and letter-based identification marker, and Craig said the police department is unable to obtain an IP address from the app users.

The application will roll out additional features such as a crime mapping feature and an alert program.

The tip program was unveiled first because Craig said he thought that part of the application would be used most.

The customizable alert program will allow users to create notifications for specific areas of town or the entire town, Craig said. Notifications will include crime, accidents and road closures.

The application, which is available on both iOS and Android devises, is free.

Asset forfeitures from drug cases paid for the $8,000 application, Craig said.

"We're proud to make this technology available to our citizens free of charge," a department news release stated. "This new capability will help our citizens play an active role in keeping neighborhoods safer. It will engage people of all ages and in the process will save our agency time and resources."



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