The Howard County Police Department has announced that residents can now use an app to anonymously send crime tips.
Howard County is the first in the state to use iWatchHowardCounty, according to a statement released by the police department. Using the app, people can send a text, picture or video to the police department.
“We think this tool is invaluable,” Police Chief William McMahon said in a statement. He said the app will not replace 911, but will work more like the police tip-line.
“Once users download the app, they can be the eyes and ears of their communities with a direct and immediate link to law enforcement,” he said.
County Executive Ken Ulman, who last week launched the Parker app, which helps people find parking spaces in Ellicott City’s Historic District, said iWatch had "endless" potential.
“Once again, Howard County is on the cutting edge of technology ... It will help us prevent crime and it will help us gather the information we need to solve crimes.”
Information sent through the iWatch app is encrypted, according to police, and users cannot be identified unless they choose to be. It can be downloaded to iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones through their respective app stores and can be downloaded directly to a computer, also, at www.iWatchHowardCounty.com.
The police department’s tip line, 410-313-STOP, is still an option for people who prefer to call in tips. Police department news and information will also be available through iWatch.
iWatch is in use in cities across the country, including Dallas, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.