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Pilot program for ‘Tipster’ app aims to connect community and law enforcement

Posted at 2:10 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 16:10:41-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A new app launching a pilot program in Utah is hoping to better connect communities and law enforcement.

The app is called "Tipster." It allows people in the community to send tips to law enforcement and get updates from police through the app.

Annelyn Sanchez, the creator of Tipster, said she came up with the idea after police were looking for a fugitive near her business in West Valley back in 2018.

“I did have video surveillance footage and when I had to provide that to law enforcement, I just realized how outdated the system was,” said Sanchez.

The-app is a two-way form of communication that allows people to send tips to police officers to help solve crimes. It also allows law enforcement to alert certain communities about different situations.

“They will receive a relevant newsfeed based on the locations that are most important to them, such as their children’s school, their work, their home, or their current geo-location if they allow it,” said Sanchez.

Scott Edson, a retired chief at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, says an app like this could be useful in helping law enforcement to solve crimes.

“In the old days, you used to say go find a cop on the street. Well, they’re not there anymore so this app is now in the palm of your hands and your smartphone and it almost equates to being that cop on the street so you have that opportunity to speak to the police,” Edson said.

Sanchez says the idea is, if more people are helping law enforcement, our communities will be safer.

“It became obvious that the biggest benefit to this was the two-way communication that this app provides for the littlest things or the biggest things,” said Edson.

Sanchez says the pilot program will be ready to launch this spring.