DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Crime fighting is now literally at the fingertips of residents in Delray Beach. Police hope a new smartphone app will help residents help detectives prevent and solve crimes in the city.
It started with a knock at the door. But when Delray Beach resident Phil Renaud opened the door something just did not seem right.
"We have individuals who come in and pretend that they live in the area, and that they want to sell us magazines," he said of the recent incident. Renaud thought the solicitor was up to something more - possibly illegal - and he wanted to notify police. Renaud's suspicions did not rise to the level of dialing 911. Instead, he used the city's newest crime fighting tool - an app.
Delray Beach Police Sgt. Nicole Guerriero demonstrated how the new MyPD web app works. After downloading app to any smartphone, residents take the lead by choosing to report a crime against a person or property or drug activity, among other options.
"It's right there at your fingertips," she said. "We want to be able to communicate with our residents. We want them to be communicating with us."
Users can submit tips about anything and they can choose to do so anonymously.
"It won't link us back to you in any way," said Sgt. Guerriero. "We don't get your email. We don't get any identifying information whatsoever."
Renaud chose to leave his contact information for authorities. It did not take long before an officer was at his home discussing the suspicious solicitor, who police say did not have permission to be there.
"If somebody sees something or knows something that is illegal and they say nothing to the police department, that will not stop the crimes," said Renaud. "This will help it."
Currently, only Delray Beach and Boynton Beach police departments have the MyPD app available for residents. Sgt. Guerriero believes that other agencies will follow their lead.
The MyPD app is available at the Google and Apple stores for free.