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There’s an app for reporting crimes

From the Chron’s Newswatch blog:

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Adrian Garcia has launched a series of free smartphone apps that will allow residents to report any crime tips or suspicious activities by sending text messages, emails, photos and video attachments.

It’s called iWatchHarrisCounty and is part of the department’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign launched in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security last year.

The apps, available for iPhones, Androids and Blackberries are available for download here:

iPhone app

Android app

Blackberry app

You can also text a tip to 1-855-HCSO-iWatch (1-855-427-6492).

Online, you can visit the iwatchharriscounty.com website to report a crime.

I’d say this counts as a Gov 2.0 app. Some commenters at that post are making references to Big Brother and totalitarianism, which frankly strike me as ridiculous. I don’t see how this is substantively different from calling a tip line like Crimestoppers, and we’ve had that for decades. Sure you could report something phony this way, but you could have done that before. Unless you believe that the Sheriff is about to start arresting people (or worse) for things that aren’t actually crimes, we’re no closer to dystopia than we’ve ever been. KTRK has more.

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