A new mobile app has launched that will help Texans report on suspicious activity happening within their communities.
The iWatchTexas app, which was developed by the Department of Public Safety, will allow users to report on suspicious activities that they may have witnessed. According to a press release, the app will help Texans report on potential crimes, terrorism or threats within their schools and cities.
“Our law enforcement officers often rely on vigilant Texans to help keep communities safe,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. “This new tool will give everyone the ability to quickly and easily communicate with authorities and help prevent future tragedies.”
According to the release, plans for the app were underway before the shooting at the Santa Fe High School last year, which left 10 people dead and 10 others injured.
After the shooting, Abbott introduced a school safety plan that called for expanding the app’s use to enable and encourage parents, students and teachers to report on potentially harmful or criminal activity more efficiently.
“Amid the growing threats to public safety by malicious actors, we want to remind the public that they can be law enforcement’s greatest resource to combat those that intend on harming others, including innocent schoolchildren and administrators,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said.
Reporting a threat can take fewer than five minutes, according to the release. After a report is submitted, law enforcement analysts review the report to determine if a threat is credible enough.
Although officials encourage that users report suspicious activity through the app, iWatchTexas is not meant to be used to report emergencies. Those who are seeking immediate help should call 911.
The app can be downloaded from the app store for iPhone users and Google Play for Android users.