CAMDEN, NJ - The Camden County Police Department in April unveiled its participation in the STOPit App, offering citizens a way to anonymously report crimes or provide tips through their smartphone.
Just over a month later, the first police department in New Jersey to use the app has shared early results in its ongoing effort to build participation.
The CCPD received more than 200 tips through the STOPit system, with 320 activations in the short timeframe, Lt. Zsakhiem James said Thursday.
Tips sent in via the traditional anonymous call line are not counted whereas “the app measures the metrics,” James said.
“We’re encouraged by the number of tips,” said James, who noted an additional 15 activations and counting Friday morning as word continues to spread.
James said the format of the app has proved to be helpful. While residents can utilize the police tip line or connect through various social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor), the STOPit system's shielding of identity can be the difference in reaching out.
“There is some strength to it being anonymous,” he said. “It seems to be taking off.”
Members of the public have responded through the app’s messaging feature, too. It’s dependent on the specific situation, James said, but when needed, the anonymous chat has allowed for police personnel to gather further information about a tip.
“If you have a friend or know someone who could use this, have them download it,” James said. “The one thing we want is conversation.”