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TxDPS creates app to report suspicious activity in effort to thwart terroristic, criminal activity

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AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety on Friday announced the launch of the iWatchTexas mobile application that allows people to report suspicious activity or behaviors that may thwart terrorist activity.

The iWatch Texas app was created to make reporting suspicious activity in Texas easier. The app is designed for individuals to report criminal, terroristic and school safety-related threats.

The app is available for iPhone users on the Apple App Store and for Android users on Google Play under iWatchTexas.

People can also report threats online at www.iwatchtx.org or by calling 1-844-643-2251.

According to a release from TxDPS, a report takes under five minutes to complete, and once the tip is submitted, each report is reviewed by law enforcement analysts. All reports are confidential, however users can provide contact information for investigators to ask follow-up questions.

TxDPS listed the following behaviors and activities that should be reported:

  • Comments made regarding killing or harming someone.
  • Strangers asking questions about building security features and procedures.
  • Briefcase, suitcase, backpack or package is left behind.
  • Cars or trucks are left in no-parking zones at important buildings.
  • Chemical smells or fumes that are unusual for the location.
  • People requesting sensitive information, such as blueprints, security plans or VIP travel schedules, without a need to know.
  • Purchasing supplies that could be used to make bombs or weapons, or purchasing uniforms without having the proper credentials.
  • Taking photographs or videos of security features, such as cameras or checkpoints.

“The new iWatchTexas mobile app is one of several solutions that Texas is implementing immediately to identify and report those who may pose a threat to our schools and to our communities,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “Our law enforcement officers often rely on vigilant Texans to help keep communities safe, and this new tool will give everyone the ability to quickly and easily communicate with authorities and help prevent future tragedies.”

The iWatch Texas program is not designed to report emergencies, according to the news release. Emergencies should be reported to 911. False reporting to a law enforcement agency is a violation of state law.