Winter Garden Report CrimeWinter Garden, FL Police Department (98 sworn officers) has invested in new technology where residents can submit anonymous, non-emergency tips at any time through the crime-fighting tool tip411. 

“Being able to report crime tips to police anonymously and conveniently through an app or via text or city website is beneficial to the community while being helpful to police, and in some cases, may prevent crime before it happens,” City Manager Jon C. Williams said.

tip411 utilizes its technology to protect residents’ identity and contact information to keep tips anonymous. 

Police Chief Steve Graham indicates that WGPD representatives have been in discussions regarding the new tool for months. 

“It resulted because we have a lot of information that’s out in the neighborhoods in the community that’s not getting to us,” he said. “Basically, we’re not getting the actual intelligence that we could. There are a few possible reasons for that. It could be that in certain neighborhoods they don’t want to be seen talking to the police or they’re afraid of retribution for talking to the police or providing information on a crime. They may not want to be identified as the complaint or a witness, and they may not want to go to court later or testify against or about something that’s going to make them uncomfortable. This provides an outlet where they can be completely anonymous. We can also interact with residents and get more information from them through this service.”

The community can sign up for the tool’s push notifications, so if the department is looking for something, it can send the information to the people who have subscribed.

“I would hope that by sharing more information we can be more effective and be more responsive,” he said. “We’re pretty good at solving crimes, but this would just make us better.”

Winter Garden resident Zach Waxler heard about the Winter Garden PD app recently and thinks it’s fantastic.

“I created my account within the app, and submitting a tip is very quick and easy,” he said. “It simply asks you for a subject, location, and description of what you saw. I feel this is going to help our community engage with our great law enforcement officers in a much more simplistic way. It is sometimes intimidating calling the non-emergency number for little things, but now you can quickly submit a thought, idea, or a problem and it will be seen by our police department. Our city and our police department is here for us. This is them showing they want our feedback and they want to hear our concerns.”

The public can submit anonymous tips to Winter Garden PD by texting “WGPD” and the tip information to 847411. The public can also use the WGPD Tip mobile app, powered by tip411, to view community alerts and submit anonymous tips. The WGPD Tip app can be downloaded for free at the iTunes and Google Play App Store.

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