New Crime-Fighting Tool Launches in Grapevine

By Steve Norder
[email protected]
The Grapevine Police Department, in partnership with the Grapevine-Colleyville school district, is offering a new smartphone application, iWatch Grapevine, for reporting crime in the city.

IWatch Grapevine is an exciting, new, virtual Crime Watch program that will empower citizens like you to help the police deal with criminals or others who would seek to harm us,” Police Chief Eddie Salame says in an online video about the app. “If you see something, say something. See something suspicious? Send us an online tip. Have information on crime that has occurred? Send a text message.”

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Salame, Grapevine-Colleyville Superintendent Robin Ryan and Dan Elliot, founder of IThinQware, the software developer, are expected to be on hand this morning at Grapevine High School for the application’s kickoff.

“Information can help identify burglars, suspicious activity, drug activity, help find homeland security threats and even help solve crimes that have already been committed,” Salame says in the video.

In addition to sending information by e-mail or a text, users can send photos and video clips directly to police, Lt. Todd Dearing said.

“IWatch puts incredible power back in the hands of the public to help stop crime,” he said. “Now the Grapevine police can enable merchants, schools, groups, neighborhoods and individuals to actually assist in crime solving by providing information directly to law enforcement, whether it’s after the fact or even if it’s happening right now.”

However, police stress that the app is not a substitute for calling 911 in an emergency when police are needed immediately.

The app is “a proactive, hands-on, program that puts crime tipping and crime reporting into the palm of your hand, allowing individuals to get information about crimes in Grapevine and submit tips on their cellphones or PDAs,” Dearing said.

Tipsters can choose to be anonymous.

The goal of bringing in the school district is “to teach the youth of our community to become responsible digital citizens,” Dearing said.

IThinQware’s application has been used by the Dallas Police Department since October 2010. It has been linked more than 930,000 times and has drawn more than 109,000 visitors since that launch. It has 8,000 registered users, Dearing said.

The Grapevine app is free and is compatible with iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices.
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/08/29/3321979/grapevine-police-launch-smartphone.html#ixzz1cYjjs2lX
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