Davenport cops tap new technologies to engage public


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Originally Posted Online: July 05, 2013, 8:11 pm
Last Updated: July 05, 2013, 9:37 pm
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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

DAVENPORT -- In the ever-changing world of technology, Davenport police are preparing a smart phone app that they hope leads to increased public's help in solving crimes.

"All we want is the opportunity," said Davenport Police assistant chief Don Schaeffer. "This program will be almost endless on what we and the public can do when working together."

The Do What's Right app is expected to be launched within the next few weeks, assistant chief Schaeffer said.

The key to the program is any information will be completely anonymous. Users can submit tips, photos and videos to police.

Assistant Chief Schaeffer said Davenport is part of Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities, but the new app takes that program a step further with more options for citizens to access and give information to the police, he said.

Sixteen members of the Davenport Police Department worked since January to design the program, he said. "I think it's almost endless what we will be able to do. This program hits every area."

Project managers for the program are Lt. Brett Morgan and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) coordinator Owen Farrell.

Lt. Morgan said there will be numerous ways for citizens to download the application for the program. Texting on crimes will be available on virtually any phone, Lt. Morgan said.

"This program can potentially blow everything out of the water," Lt. Morgan said. "One, it helps us connect with a younger crowd. We're looking for young persons who are out being mobile.

"This app gives us an opportunity to connect with them, to defeat the code of silence they have, and to communicate directly with them.

"We have an opportunity to keep this anonymous, and they can have a two-way dialogue with us. We'll keep it that way.

"For whatever reason, people do not like talking to police or there's that stigma of talking to police. This is another way of improving our relationship. We have to connect. That's all there is to it."

Mr. Farrell said the app will allow citizens an easy way to submit a tip. They can go to the type of offense, such was what type of crime, when, where, suspect name, appearance, clothing, etc.

"There's also an opportunity for you to upload a picture," Mr. Farrell said.

The program also will include a way to measure the threat assessment, depending on the information provided with the tip. "Our idea is to investigate and evaluate," Lt. Morgan said. "We're here to be preventive and proactive and stop what may happen."

Assistant Chief Schaeffer said more details will be forthcoming on how people can download the application.


















 



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