COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A new app will allow users to report suspicious activity directly to Ohio Homeland Security, uploading their location and even photos from their smartphone.
The new Safer Ohio phone app is available on the Apple App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
“The public’s reporting of suspicious activity is one of our best defenses against terrorist threats and our greatest resource to building resilience,” said Ohio Dept of Public Safety Director John Born. “An aware and engaged public that understands what constitutes unusual and suspicious behavior is essential to protecting our communities. And this function of the application gives citizens one more way to share this vital information.”
Tips are sent to the app's provider, My Mobile Wireless, which then immediately forwards them to the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety's "hub."
"Whoever's jurisdiction the action is taking place in we would send it to that jurisdiction," said Ohio Dept. of Public Safety spokesman Joe Andrews.
Andrews says the app provider uses patent-pending privacy protection software for safeguarding the integrity of tips and personal information. The system allows law enforcement or Ohio Homeland Security analysts to engage citizens without tracking one’s location or storing personal information. Submitted tips are immediately removed from the mobile device and purged from the My Mobile Witness system once delivered to Ohio Homeland Security for analysis.