Apex police app uses technology to combat crime
Posted April 21, 2014
Apex, N.C. — Apex police officers have a new added a new weapon to their crime-fighting arsenal – smartphones.
Residents are using a phone app to send anonymous crime tips to the police.
Apex police Capt. Ann Stephens said it's like a modern version of Crime Stoppers.
"We can actually respond to them (the tipsters) and maintain a dialogue with them if there's more information that we need," she said. "Or we can ask if they're comfortable talking to a detective."
Apex police say the app, which launched six months ago and is available to iPhone and Android users, is simple to use. Once downloaded, the user pushes "New Tip" to send information anonymously to the department through a third party vendor. Those without the app can still anonymously text APEXPD to TIP411.
While the app has cost the town $2,500 for a two-year contract, Stephens said it has already paid off. The department gets a few tips a week on average, and the app is used mostly for everyday, non-emergency complaints.
But some tips are giving investigators valuable leads on more serious problems, like drug activity.
"They've given us names on, 'I think this person may have dome something,' which maybe didn't solve a particular crime, but may have solved something else," she said.
Stephens said adapting this new technology shows how Apex officers are changing with the times to fight crime.
"People don't tend to make that phone call as they used to," she said. "We want people to have that at their fingertips."