MASSENA — A month ago, Massena village trustees turned down a request from Police Chief Adam J. Love to purchase an app that could be used to send notifications in emergency situations and also allow individuals to anonymously send crime tips to the police department.
But, during the trustees’ meeting on Tuesday, Chief Love received the board’s approval to purchase the Tip411 app. The motion received the support of Mayor Timmy J. Currier, Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire and Trustee Christine Winston.
Two trustees who had opposed the purchase during the board’s September meeting, weren’t present on Tuesday. Francis J. Carvel was excused and Albert “Herb” Deshaies was absent.
Chief Love told trustees last month that the app would allow them to get information out to subscribers instantaneously. It might be an advisory to stay away from certain areas because of a fire or water break, or information about a crime they were trying to solve.
“Everybody that is connected to Tip411 would get all the alerts,” he said.
If the department was looking for an individual, subscribers could log on and anonymously report information.
“This is just one way I think for us to reach out to our community, to better interact and have a positive interaction. We can get a lot of information out in a short amount of time. I can actually do it from my cell phone. We would push it out and get as much information out there as quickly as possible,” Chief Love said.
Mr. LeBire had supported the motion last month, and he brought it back to the table for discussion on Tuesday. He said it was a “relatively low cost app that would allow for more social interaction and public safety benefits,” as well as notifications and the ability for individuals to make anonymous reports.
The app costs $2,000 a year, a price that will be held for three years, and there’s no commitment for the village to continue after that time period. Mr. LeBire said that, if there was an increase in cost, it would be in the 3 to 5 percent range.
“There were some legitimate concerns raised by some of the trustees regarding the cost. I asked the chief afterward to do some additional digging and homework. He was able to get some additional information in terms of the cost. The cost would actually be the same for three years instead of two,” he said.
Another concern that was raised was the privacy of information provided by the app’s users, and he said they had been told the company would use that information exclusively for the app and would not sell it.
“I still think it’s a great tool that we should look to utilize, especially with the very low cost of it. The potential is there to save manpower hours long term. One good tip may save quite a bit,” Mr. LeBire said.
In addition, it will be used for public safety notifications, “preventing something from happening when there’s a crisis or public safety incident going on,” he said. “To me, it’s valuable. That’s why I brought it back up.”