HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For Hamden Police, it is another step in helping to bridge the gap between police officers and the communities they protect. A new smartphone app called tip411 lets smartphone users submit crime tips anonymously.
“Often I’ll be in meetings and hear people say like I did yesterday, well, I didn’t want to bother the police. I heard from somebody else well, I want to be anonymous and I didn’t want to get involved so to speak,” said Hamden Chief of Police Thomas Wydra.Related Content: Hamden police stepping up community involvement & patrols
Wydra said the goal of the department is to connect with everyone in the town but realizes certain groups of people are hesitant to engage. Officers believe the app will encourage people to alert them of suspicious activity.
“We wanna reach people who ordinarily might not be willing to engage with us for a variety of reasons. That includes kids, people whose immigration status may be in jeopardy or some other process they don’t want to engage the local police. This is another way for them to reach us,” said Wydra.
Wydra says the app serves as a two way communication tool. Officers will be able to push out alerts about crimes as they happen in real time. Residents can get notifications about suspect or vehicle descriptions, keeping them informed and hopefully leading police to catch the people responsible for crimes.
“That is one of our founding principles, right? The police are the public the public are the police and so this is a great way to take advantage of a technology tool in a society where technology is so prevalent,” said Wydra.
The Legislative Council approved funding for the app earlier this month. Wydra hopes to roll it out in the next few weeks.