PTC police seek tips via new phone app

In the “old days” of police work, tipsters had to phone in leads on cases.

Those times are changing, as the Peachtree City Police Department is rolling out a new app for citizens to anonymously report crimes. They also will accept tips from any computer and also via text messaging as well.

The free TipSubmit app, available for Apple and Android devices, allows users to submit videos and photos with their information. It also gives police the opportunity to hit the tipster up for more information in a two-way chat as part of the app.

“It gives the user a password protected system and they can go back and forth with detectives and update information and ask questions,” explained police Lt. Mark Brown. “You can keep updating your tip and we can get back with you through text messages without us knowing what the number is.”

The tips go straight to a designated police officer who is then able to forward them out as needed to help resolve the issue, Brown explained.

Brown explained that all the data is routed to a server in Canada which keeps the information protected from even a federal search warrant. So even the follow up tips and questions through the app will remain completely anonymous.

To submit a crime tip via text message, citizens must type “PTCTIPS” plus the tip and send it to 274637 — which conveniently spells out the word “crimes” on a telephone keypad.

Citizens can also access a form on the web to submit crime tips by navigating to www.peachtree-city.org/police and clicking the section on crime tips and selecting choice one for “the easy web form.”
Tips can also be submitted through the department’s Facebook page as well.

TipSubmit is not designed to take the place of dialing 911 for emergencies, but it can help citizens anonymously pass along information on non-urgent crimes including fugitives, vandalism, theft, drug violations or crimes being planned in the community or in schools.

The TipSoft system which includes TipSubmit has logged more than 2 million tips resulting in 145,000 arrests, 55,000 fugitives caught and more than $5.3 billion recovered in drugs and property, company officials have said.