Earlier today, the City of Rochester leaders revealed a new tool–the ‘Report It’ app–that gives city residents an easy and anonymous way to report non-emergency crime tips.
Mayor Malik D. Evans along with city leaders announced the partnership with Report It Anonymous Reporting System, the free smartphone and internet application that will provide users the ability to make reports to the City.
“Report It gives our citizens an easy-to-use method to say something when they see something that is 100 percent anonymous,” Evans said. “From news delivery, travel planning to buying coffee, smartphone apps are increasingly becoming the preferred means of communication sharing in our society, so this application allows us to engage our customers on their terms to gain the information we need to reduce crime and keep our community safe.”
According to officials, it was South District City Councilmember LaShay Harris who suggested the City adopt the technology after seeing it on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives website while doing research.
“We needed a way to collect crime tips using the modes of communications people use today, and the most used device is the cell phone,” Harris said. “With this application, citizens can report suspicious activity with the assurance they will remain anonymous, which is a critical component of our work to restore the partnership between the community and the Police Department.”
The application utilizes a unique technology that ensures the shared information from citizens is transmitted to the City without including any data that would identify the individual or their device. This means that no information that could be used to track or save the data is collected.
Users can also set up anonymous accounts to receive messages on their report.
The app is limited to non-emergency crime-tips that will be reviewed Monday through Friday during business hours. Crime-tip categories include suspicious person or activity, guns and weapons, theft or burglary, fugitive information and information about a previous crime. Users can also provide photos.
Evans said the tool will expand the city’s public-safety tool box, helping to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity to everyone.
The City plans to use the Report It app for reporting crime tips for one year and may consider expanding its use for other City operations after that.
To begin a crime-tip report text ‘Rochester’ to 63975. To download the app, text ‘reportit’ to the 63975.