Johnstown Police introduce new tip service

WTAJ Plus

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — The Johnstown Police Department is introducing a new way for people to report crime and all you need is your smartphone.

“This is just taking our game to the next level to make our community safer,” says Johnstown Police Chief, Robert Johnson.

He says a new tip line app will help tipsters communicate with officers more efficiently.

“We can receive a tip, interact with the tipster, get more information and potentially send officers there right then and there to address the issue.”

The app is easy to use.

“You could type in drug activity at the intersection of such and such. I continue to see this such activity, please look into it.”

The app is easy, but it serves an important role.

“It’s real-time intelligence that we’re gathering from the community.”

The new app is a complete flip from their last tipline.

“We had to push out to push and that type of thing which would go to a voicemail and sit there until someone reviewed it and by that time, the information was potentially stale.”

When interacting with officers, you remain completely anonymous, which is something Johnson says was pivotal for improving the tip service.

“It alleviates that stigma of them being a snitch or a rat or fear of being retaliated against because they did the right thing.”

In the future, he says they’d like to localize it to certain areas in Johnstown.

“It’s our hope to have a group that’s specific to West End or Moxham, city-wide that we can say ‘hey there’s an incident down on Fairfield Avenue, please avoid all traffic through there.’”

Johnson stresses that the app is not a substitution to dialing 9-1-1 and you should still be calling during one.

The app is free and can be found by searching “JohnstownPD,” on the app store.

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