MASSENA — A new way to anonymously report crime tips in Massena is up and running via an app called tip411.

The Massena Police Department app is available for free download via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the Massena Police Department website at www.MassenaPD.com.

Chief Adam J. Love said one of the biggest benefits is the ability to report information anonymously. He said they realize people are sometimes afraid to call the police with information. But, by using tip411, the system removes all of the identifying information, and police receive no personal information such as name, phone number and address.

The individual app for iPhones or Android phones has a tab for alerts, where alerts will be sent by the police department. Another tab is for “My Tips,” where individuals would be able to anonymously send information to the department. There are also links to the department’s website and Facebook pages, as well as the ability to phone the department from the app.

Anyone who doesn’t have a smart phone can still send anonymous tips through a message. They would text keyword MPDTIP to 847411, add a space, type in their tip information and hit send.

In addition, they can use the Anonymous Web Tip Form from their computer by visiting www.MassenaPD.com.

“The biggest thing is they can send anonymous tips,” Chief Love said. “We want to be able to help connect our police department with the public. This is just one powerful tool that we can use to let people reach out to us. The public is our greatest crime-fighting resource.”

For instance, he said, someone may have a concern about possible drug activity in their neighborhood, bullying, suspicious activity or crime.

“Instead of them worrying about are they going to know who I am, they can send a tip anonymously,” he said.

Chief Love said tip411 is strictly to provide anonymous reports, and isn’t mean for emergencies or urgent need of police assistance. Residents should continue to call 9-1-1- for all emergency situations and, for non-emergency, the department at 3165-769-3577.

In addition to anonymous reporting, the app allows the department to get information out to subscribers instantaneously. He said they the police department can use it for instances such as when they’re looking for information on a person or incident. They can also use it in conjunction with the Massena Volunteer Fire Department to alert subscribers to stay away from an area where a fire is in progress, or the Department of Public Works to let individuals know about a road closure for repair work.

He said information can be disseminated in a short amount of time, even from his cell phone. Alerts can be sent via an email or a text message to the individual’s phone. Chief Love said they’ll also continue to use social media site such as Facebook to pass on information.

“We want to be able to help connect our police department with the public. This is just one powerful tool that we can use that people can reach out to us. With social media, they have the right to limit how far out we go and who receives messages. With tip 411, everybody will get a message,” he said.

“I think this is going to give us a nice connection with our community that supports us so well. I think this is one way to be able to keep that positive connection. We look forward to using it and the community using it,” he said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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