Davenport residents can now send tips to police using an application for i-Pads, i-Phones and other mobile devices. The free app, called “Do What’s Right,” allows users to submit anonymous tips by text or on-line. Davenport Police Chief Frank Donchez says it’s a new option for people who don’t want to call 9-1-1.
“People are afraid of being tracked or identified and then maybe retribution,” Chief Donchez says. “It’s just another avenue to do that. Have we had a problem? Yeah. I don’t think we get nearly the cooperation that we would like when we investigate crimes and so if somebody knows something and they can submit a tip that helps us solve a crime, better off.”
The tips are submitted without a phone number and can include a picture. Officers will monitor them around the clock and assess which tips are most pressing. Donchez says this could prevent tragedies like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. He says in more than 80-percent of similar situations, someone knew something was wrong before-hand.
And over 90-percent of the time, the killer had mental health issues. He thinks the new app can address this. “It’s not just about stopping potential violence or arresting people, it’s also about getting them the help they need,” Donchez says.
“That’s part of what we’re trying to do here, get that intervention. When we identify someone with a potential problem and we will hopefully avoid a terrible situation, we also want to get that person assistance.” Similar mobile applications are being used in San Jose, California, and Georgetown, Texas.
The “Do What’s Right” app lets users look up crime reports and see on a map where crimes occurred. Davenport police will use it to send traffic updates, suspect information and other notifications. The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store, Google Play or the Davenport Police Department’s web site.