Got a crime tip? Now there's an app for that
Editor in Chief
Friday, January 12, 2024
Winter Garden PD, the city's new app, allows residents to anonymously send tips to the police department, communicate with police officers and receive community safety alerts.
Winter Garden residents who see something, can now say something anonymously, thanks to the Winter Garden Police Department’s new crime-fighting app.
The free Winter Garden PD app is available from the Apple Store and Google Play.
The app allows residents to share non-emergency tips with police “if they see something that we need to know about, but they don’t want to be seen talking to the police,” Winter Garden Police Chief Steve Graham said Thursday in a brief presentation to the city commission.
He added that 911 should still be used for emergencies.
Graham said that tips could be communicated via text and through the Winter Garden Police Department website and the city website and that identifying information was maintained by a third party to keep tips anonymous.
One of the plusses, Graham noted, was that the app lets police communicate with tipsters, something that Crimeline, a tip hotline, does not. In addition, the app can push out safety alerts to those who sign up to receive them. Tipsters can also create an account on tip411.com to track the tips they submit.
Tip411.com, the “web-based, anonymous tip and community alert software” that runs the app, allows law enforcement to "engage the public as a force multiplier ... to help fight crime," according to its website.