MASSENA — A village trustee’s concern about the potential cost in years ahead led to the defeat of a motion to allow 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.
During Tuesday’s village board meeting, Chief Love requested permission to spend the money on an app called Tip411 at a cost of $2,000 a year for the first two years. While it was supported by Mayor Timmy J. Currier and Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire, trustees Francis J. Carvel and Albert “Herb” Deshaies opposed the purchase. Trustee Christine Winston was excused from the meeting.
Although the app would cost $2,000 a year for the first two years, Mr. Carvel was concerned about a potential price increase after that.
“How much is it going to be five years from now?” he wondered.
Mr. LeBire said it would be $2,000 to renew it for a second year, but that amount was subject to change 60 days from Sept. 6, the date it was quoted.
Chief Love said 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 said there were a variety of communication resources available that touched various segments of the population. But, he said, some of them weren’t all-encompassing.
“Companies like Facebook have an algorithm behind the scenes. The chief can post something to Facebook or social media and not everyone’s going to see it. It might only go to a third of the peoples’ news feeds,” he said.
By opting in to Tip411, they would be guaranteed to receive the notifications, he said.
“You’re going to get those types of alerts. It’s going to ring on your phone and it’s going to tell you immediately what’s going on,” Chief Love said.
There was a discussion about spreading the cost since the app would be shared by several departments, including the police, fire and Department of Public Works. However, those discussions were for naught because the motion to purchase the app was defeated.