DPS launches mobile app to report suspicious activities

Updated: Jun. 11, 2018 at 4:38 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - We are taught if you see something, say something;

The Texas Department of Public Safety is now making that easier to do with a new mobile app that started off as an online program.

"I mean its bad that you can't go anywhere to enjoy yourself," Billy Ray Jackson said. "Because of all of these shootings, that are even [happening] at churches too."

Following last month's school shooting at Santa Fe High School, the DPS launched iWatch Texas at the direction of Governor Greg Abbott.

It gives millions of Texans a new and easy way to report suspicious activity, including criminal, terroristic or school safety-related threats.

"If you see a social media post that's very alarming like I'm going to bomb or I'm going to kill, any terroristic type of threats, that's one example," Texas DPS Sgt. Dan Buesing said.

Often times there are red flags before a crime or terrorist attack takes place but law enforcement officials say people don't report it due to fear.

With this new app, they are hoping the five-minute report will be the change. iWatch Texas allows you to send all of the information anonymously, giving law enforcement a chance to take action before it's too late.

"Sometimes we [law enforcement] are a little bit behind the curve and we are trying to find these people that are trying to harm our communities so this is a great avenue to try to get ahead or at least stay even and stop these harmful events before they happen to our schools, churches or workplaces," Sgt. Buesing said.

Some examples of suspicious behaviors and activities to report include someone purchasing supplies that could be used to make bombs or weapons.

Another is coming across someone who is taking photographs or videos of security features. One thing officials want the public to keep in mind is iWatch Texas is not designed to report emergencies.

If a situation requires an emergency response then you need to call 911. You can still make reports, through the online version of iWatch Texas or by phone. That number is 844-643-2251.

The app is available for download in Apple or Google Play stores.

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