App allows Miami-Dade residents to report crime on smartphones

Tips can be made anonymously on app

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – There's a new way people in Miami-Dade County can report crime with just the touch of a smartphone.

It's an app called Community on Patrol, or COP for short.

"It's an app that allows the public to interact with the police and report information (or) give us tips," Miami-Dade police Sgt. Joseph Bermudez said. "You can actually provide photos and videos, upload it and send it over in the app."

Someone can take photos or video, or upload video from another source, like the Doorbell app or DropCam, and send it to police using the COP app.

In seconds, every crime specialist working at the department's Real Time Crime Center will get an alert and see the incoming information.

"Once the tip is received, one of the detectives here at the Real Time Crime Center is going to vet the tip," Miami-Dade police Detective Romelio Martinez said.

If it's deemed to be a crime in progress, police will be dispatched.

Martinez said the app can also be used to report ongoing activity, such as suspected drug activity at a home.

A person using the app can also choose to send information anonymously. Martinez said that should provide ease of mind for someone who might fear retaliation for helping police.

"It provides that anonymity where you can provide that information, send in a tip, have the police get dispatched and respond somewhere without anyone around you knowing you just asked for the police to come out," Martinez said.

The app has been available since the end of March.

Miami-Dade police Major Hector Llevat said that since mid-July, the department has received about two alerts each day. So far, more than 2,300 people have downloaded the app.

The COP app is free and available in your app store.