The St. Joseph Police Department’s Crime Stoppers unit is continuing to see success with the P3Tips app launched in February.
The app was launched to bring in more tips through another resource for the community to use.
The department has met that goal with an increase of tips by 51 percent from 2018. It’s received a total of 304 contacts this year.
P3Tips is offered as an app for phones and as a computer and mobile web browser. Before it was offered, the only tips resource used was the department’s hotline, 816-238-TIPS.
Detective Chris Davis, Crime Stoppers supervisor, said with the increase of technology and phone use, the app was a necessity to have.
“Everybody always seems to have a smart phone or access to a computer and internet,” Davis said.
All Crime Stopper sources are anonymous, but Davis said people like the web and app better because it’s completely anonymous.
“Some people don’t believe that you’re completely anonymous, but when you have an app, it helps with that factor,” Davis said.
Since P3Tips has been used, the department tracks what days and times are most common for tips to come through. Noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday receives the majority of tips. Web browsers bring in the most tips.
The idea of P3Tips came from surrounding Kansas City agencies where officers saw many benefits from it.
“There’s nothing but upside compared to how we were doing it before, which everything was on paper,” Davis said.
Davis said officers have received positive feedback from the community and within the department concerning the app.
Another resource for officers and investigators helps solidify cases more quickly and accurately.
“They might already know the information, but when somebody else sends it in, it just helps solidify what they already know,” Davis said.
The Police Department urges people in the community to continue taking advantage of all the tips resources available including the hotline, which is monitored 24 hours a day.