Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers to introduce app for tips

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers is getting ready to launch an app to aide it to provide tips to police departments. The organization promises it will still keep a tipster’s anonymity.

The app is set to launch on February 1st, 2021. It’s run through P3.

P3 is available for free download in the Apple app store and the Google Play store.

Users will be able to submit anonymous tips through the app due to a protected firewall. Coordinator for Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers Ken Fries said anything submitted gets deleted.

“The Anderson Software is the one that developed this P3 system. And they have all the firewalls and IDs in place that they don’t save any information. Anything can be subpoenaed and there is nothing to subpoena. No IP addresses, no nothing,” said Fries.

Currently, Fries is the only person who sorts through the tips submitted to Crime Stoppers. He only works 20 hours a week, and says he gets about 131 tips a month. He feels the app will help streamline tips to police.

“When you submit the tip to us, it comes to us within probably 30 seconds. The beauty of that is I don’t have to be in the office to forward them where it needs to go. So, midnight we get a tip, I can see it and send it to an agency, wherever it needs to go. Which now, I come in the morning and fax it to wherever it needs to go. There’s a delay. And if it’s a really hot tip, it’s important to get those out right away.”

For officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department, time is of the essence.

“Sometimes tips are down to the minute with how valuable they are. So the faster the better,” said FWPD Lt. Jonathan Bowers.

Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers serves 11 counties in northeast Indiana.

The cost for Crime Stoppers to have the app is $2,000 a year. None of it will come from taxpayers. Crime Stoppers is completely funded through donations.

The new app will also let tipsters check a box if they’d like to communicate with police about their tip and they’ll also be able to upload video.

Look for more on this story on First at Five and the News at Six.

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