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Crime & Justice

Austin Police Launch New App For Submitting Anonymous Tips

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Perla Arellano for KUT News
Police Chief Art Acevedo announced the launch of a new app he says will help more people to get involved and stay informed.

The ability to send an anonymous tip to Austin police is now available right at your fingertips. The Austin Police Department unveiled a new free smartphone app Monday that they say will streamline the process of sending information to police.

They’re calling the app Austin PD. People can use the app to submit tips, send a GPS location or photo, or have a two-way chat with officers, all while remaining anonymous. It also has interactive features such as crime maps. It's free and available for iOS and Android.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that the purpose of the app is to give the community an opportunity to be involved and stay informed.

“Quite frankly, this app is consistent to what we are. What we are as a city. We're a young, vibrant, innovative city where people want innovative solutions, and I think that this is just one of those solutions that are in keeping with the best of Austin,” he said.

The success of the app, Acevedo said, will be based on the number of people that download it and use it.

“For me I want to see tens of thousands, and the more people that download it, the more people that are going to be informed, the more people that provide us information, the safer that we're all going to be,” he said.

The application was built as part of APD’s collaboration with Austin-based startup MobilePD, a company that develops apps concerning law enforcement and public safety.

“Over the years our apps have helped find missing people, lift major drug busts, and have greatly enhanced access to police resources," said Kushyar Kasraie, CEO of MobilePD. "We look forward to seeing that firsthand in our own community."

APD is asking people to help come up with a slogan for the app. You can tweet your ideas to @Austin_Police. APD will pick the top three to five submissions and put the final decision to a public vote.