Police to Launch Digital Reporting App: See Something, Send Something

Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Police to Launch Digital Reporting App: See Something, Send Something

Hillsborough police are making it easier to say something if you see something.

Starting Saturday, Sept. 1, the Hillsborough Police Department will launch use of the “See Something, Send Something” smartphone app that allows citizens to receive notifications from police and to report suspicious activity and tips to them. The department will be the first North Carolina agency to go live with the app.

“We continuously and proactively look for ways to promote two-way communication between the Police Department and community,” said Sgt. William Parker of the Community Services Division. “Oftentimes when we are talking with people, they will mention something that happened a few days, a week or a month ago that didn’t quite seem right, but they didn’t think it seemed 911-worthy.

“This app allows you to document what you see, take photos and video, and send it to us. By using this technology, you are helping us by being another set of eyes. Please, if you see something, send something!”

The See Something, Send Something application — launched earlier this year by law enforcement consultant Kevin Angell of Sarasota, Florida — uses location-based services on smartphones to notify users of suspicious or criminal activity. Users traveling will receive notifications from other participating law enforcement agencies while in those agencies’ areas. The app’s users then can provide information back to law enforcement regarding the notifications.

The app also allows users to submit tips proactively on other issues, including sending photos or video with their tips. Tips sent from locations other than Hillsborough will be routed to the nearest law enforcement agency, which will receive an email with information on how to access the tip.

Facial recognition technology, which was added in June, also allows law enforcement to compare submitted images to a database of missing children, endangered adults or wanted persons. Tips can be sent anonymously, and the status of tips also can be checked.

In addition to sending tips via mobile devices, the Hillsborough community will continue to be able to submit tips to police through the town’s website. The See Something, Send Something portal — at www.hillsboroughnc.gov/seesomething — will replace the town’s online anonymous crime tip form. The phone number for anonymous crime tips will remain in place: 919-296-9555.

The See Something, Send Something system is not intended for emergency situations. For situations requiring immediate response, call 911.

Smartphone users who turn off location-based services will not receive notifications from police through the app but still can use the app to submit tips to police.

The See Something, Send Something app is available for free on Apple and Android devices:

The app is used by law enforcement in nine other states, including the entire state of Nebraska. Its owner, Crowdsourced Geofencing Solutions, does not sell or transfer personal data or data submitted to law enforcement.