iWatchHarrisCounty is a virtual crime watch program that empowers citizens across the county to report suspicious behaviors or activities by turning in tips as text messages and emails with image and video attachments, and phone calls directly to the HCSO from almost any mobile phone or PC. Citizens can remain anonymous or may choose to disclose their identity.
There are four ways to report crime tips:
iWatchHarrisCounty is for submitting crime tips only, not emergencies. Emergency calls should be made to 911.
The HCSO is the first sheriff's office in the country to use the iWatch mobile app.
"The iWatchHarrisCounty app helps us reach out to a digitally connected community in ways never before possible," said Sheriff Adrian Garcia. "Almost everyone has a cell phone or a computer. Now you can use that mobile device, that technology, to help us prevent or solve crimes by sending us a tip from anywhere, anytime -- if you see something, say something."
The "If You See Something, Say Something™" public awareness campaign was launched nationally last year by the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness of indicators of terrorism and violent crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper law enforcement authorities.
"Until we invented the iWatch application, no citizen could say something with enough immediacy or with the precise detail that a criminal investigations agency could fully benefit from having," said Dan Elliott, founder of iThinQware, Inc. ©.
The iWatch application will allow the HCSO to receive, vet, track, forward and share crime tips within its own organization, as well as to push out tips, photos, videos and information to other agencies if applicable.