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Emily Welker, Published January 30 2014

Fargo police release smartphone app with crime, sex offender data

FARGO – Police are releasing a new smartphone app that allows users to report crimes anonymously, keep updated on where crimes are happening in the city, and track sex offenders and wanted felons.

The free app, which is available to Apple and Android smartphone users, is “one of our most significant advances in terms of sharing information,” said Police Chief Keith Ternes.

It was developed as part of the department’s emphasis on social media, and includes 12 functions that can link users to the Fargo Police Department’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages.

The app also allows users to check out the department’s ongoing crime mapping of property crimes reported in the city, which is updated every three hours during weekdays, said Fargo police officer Jessica Schindeldecker.

That doesn’t apply to weekends because the records staff doesn’t working during those times, she said.

Personal crimes such as domestic violence incidents and juvenile crimes won’t be included in the maps. Property crimes, which people can help cut down on by securing property, are, Schindeldecker said.

Tipsters can choose categories such as burglary, gang activity and crime in progress, and might be responded to as soon as staffing levels allowed, she said.

“Oftentimes it’s as fast as the intelligence unit gets to it,” she said.

Users also can search the department’s directory to contact individual officers and their child’s school resource officer.

That can come in handy for residents who are looking for updates on a crime they reported, but who may have lost the business card of the responding officer, Schindeldecker said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541