The Wilmington Police Department has launched a new smartphone application that will help residents find information, view local crime alerts, and submit anonymous tips.

Developed by tip411, the Wilmington NC PD app will replace and expand the agency’s previous text-a-tip service.

Within the app, users will find agency alerts on the front page, and two additional tabs at the bottom: one for submitting tips and another for accessing the agency’s website, social media channels, and front desk phone number — a one-stop shop for communication between police and the community.

Providing an anonymous line of communication is essential, particularly when it comes to violent crime.

“In order to stop violence in our community, we need the community’s help,” Chief Donny Williams said. “If you know that a violent crime is about to occur, please use this app. If you have information on a past crime, please use this app. You will remain completely anonymous, and you may help save someone’s life.”

Residents can download the app for free in the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store, and have the option of creating an account or continuing as a guest. Creating an account does not affect anonymity.

Wilmington residents without access to a smartphone can share information with police by sending an anonymous text message to 847411 (tip411) and including the keyword WPDNC.

This service is not a replacement for 911, which should always be used in emergencies.

Read the full story from WWAYTV3