The Chattanooga Police Department announced Friday the launch of its new app, which will give citizens a direct link to the police.
“We realize that people communicate through different means,” Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy said. “So, we are now offering a new way for people to reach us.”
The app is free to the public and has features, such as neighborhood crime tracking, real-time emergency notifications, access to CPD social media feeds and an anonymous tip-reporting portal.
Those who want to send in a tip to the police will have the option to include a photo, location or the tipper’s contact information. After someone sends in a tip, they will be able to speak to an officer using a private, two-way chat room.
The information gathered from this conversation is then filtered through the police department’s Real-Time Intelligence Center and sent to the entity or officer best suited to help.
While the app does allow users to report things, such as a robbery or domestic assault, the police department stresses that it should not be used in replacement of 911.
Similarly, citizens who want immediate assistance from an officer—for example about a noise complaint— should call the (423) 698-2525. Users can also find police numbers through the app.
The neighborhood crime tracking feature allows citizens to see the crimes reported near them. This feature only lets users see crimes committed within the past couple of days. Information about ongoing investigations will not be included.
The app, developed by MobilePD, has been in the works since 2015. The police department was able to fund the app’s creation through a $40,000 grant.
To download the app, search “Chattanooga Police Department” in the app store.
Updated @ 6:16 p.m. 3/10 to add information about where to get the app.
Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville. You can reach Alina at [email protected] or on Twitter @alinahuntergrah.